Little doubt remains that feed quality will be a challenge this year. This year’s volatile drought has forced livestock producers to think twice about the quality of their feedstuffs and be aware of the risk of mycotoxins.

In order to better identify mycotoxins, Alltech recently launched its 37+ Program. The mass spectrometry technique LC-MS2 can investigate 38 different mycotoxins quantitatively, and more than 50 others qualitatively in less than 15 minutes per sample, with limits of detection in the parts-per-trillion range. According to Max Hawkins, Alltech mycotoxin management team, the approach allows a broader analytical approach compared to other commercial methods that can only see a “snapshot” of contamination.

“Producers should positively identify any situations that may arise with this year’s corn crop and not assume it is only Aspergillius,” Hawkins said. Four of the nation’s top-producing corn states have already been given permission to blend corn at levels that exceed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration aflatoxin action level and other states may soon follow.

Aspergillus, the mold responsible for aflatoxins, has been the most notorious culprit in the 2012 harvest due to its carcinogenic properties, but other toxins may also show up this year.

According to Swamy Haladi, also on Alltech’s team, Aspergillus and Fusarium molds will be the most prevalent. This can lead to production of aflatoxins and fumonisins as well as vomitoxin and zearalenone in U.S. and Canadian feedstuffs.

For more information about the 37+ Program or questions on mycotoxins, call the mycotoxin hotline at (866) 322-3484.