Livestock farmers feeding imported soya either straight or in purchased feed have been warned to be vigilant after an AIC2 warning that batches of imported soya hulls from Argentina may be contaminated with the mycotoxin zearalenone.
AIC believes some of the affected soya may have been sold in the UK and could be contaminated with up to 4.96ppm of this mycotoxin produced by Fusarium species moulds.
Mycotoxin management specialist Alltech is urging farmers to be cautious because of the known impact of zearalenone on livestock fertility.
“We would certainly not recommend using any of this contaminated soya in rations for developing or reproducing females, particularly gilts, sows or dairy heifers. Even at 10% inclusion of this contaminated material the zearalenone level would be almost 500ppb – around five times the guidance level for gilts and on the limit for dairy youngstock too,” warns Jonathan Younger from Alltech.
Alltech is advising anyone that has recently purchased soya hulls from Argentina to test the material as soon as possible. And if already feeding it to livestock to introduce an appropriate mycotoxin binder such as Mycosorb A+.
Thanks to its 37+™ analysis programme, Alltech is now able to give farmers and the feed trade a more accurate picture of the total mycotoxin contamination of feed materials, whether imported or grown in the UK.
“Increasingly we are seeing multiple mycotoxin contamination of feed materials. Whether this is due to varying climate precipitating more aggressive mould growth or indeed changing agronomic practices around the world, we can’t be sure. But the important message is vigilance and it now certainly makes sense to screen what you are feeding for potential mycotoxin contamination,” Mr Younger says.