Assessing the risk of contamination of dairy rations with mycotoxins is difficult, but that doesn’t mean the problem doesn’t exist!
Assessing mycotoxin risk in dairy feeds has always been challenging. Most cases dairy cows are fed with Total Mixed Ration (TMR) containing silages, grains, and by-products. Although mycotoxins in TMR and high-fiber ingredients can be analysed, test methods are costly and not practical for routine analysis. On the other hand, more practical and affordable tests, such as ELISA and Lateral Flow Devices, are not particularly suitable for testing high-fiber ingredients. This problem can be solved by combining rapid tests that are practical for testing mycotoxins in ingredients with low amounts of fiber with mould counts and mycotoxin analysis for ingredients with high levels of fiber and for TMR.
Making a correct assessment of the risk of contamination with mycotoxins in combination with understanding the consequences of their presence and negative effective effects in dairy cows is very important to prevent problems with health, performance and fertility of dairy cows and problems with residues of aflatoxins in milk.