Shelling Corn, Test For Your Herd’s Sake
Content By: Tim Bender | Livestock Nutrition Division Manager
Reminder – after you combine this year’s corn, it is suggested to get it sampled (after it has been dried). You can do so by giving a sample to your Superior Ag Animal Nutrition Sales specialist to test for protein levels, Aflatoxin, DON, and Fumonisin. Superior Ag does have the capability to perform testing in house for $100 or there is an option to get testing out-of-house for $135.
Protein levels: helps you as a producer balance animal diets.
Aflatoxin, DON, Fumonisin: if there are high traces of any three of these, accommodations will need to be made to animal diets.
More about each toxin or fungi:
Aflatoxin is a potent mutagen and mycotoxin produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasitius that affects a wide range of animal species. Chronic exposure to aflatoxin may significantly alter productivity in animals.
DON level above 1.5 ppm of feed in pigs primarily decrease feed intake, immune suppression, and, at higher concentrations, a complete feed refusal might be observed in this type of animal. In addition, higher levels of DON fed to pigs have shown to reduce average daily gain and reduce feed efficiency.
Fumonisin is most susceptible to horses and swine, and mild toxicity has been reported in chicks, ducks, and turkeys. The feed intake is reduced in turkeys fed 50 ppm, which suggests that turkeys are more susceptible than chickens to fumonisins. Swine are very susceptible to fumonisins, which can cause a very serious pneumonia and respiratory distress. In diets containing 10 ppm of fumonisins, decreased average daily gain and feed efficiency in post-weaned piglets has been observed.