The South Dakota Department of Agriculture is advising the state's corn, dairy and livestock producers to test for aflatoxin in corn, DDGs and silage.
Feed refusal, reduced growth rate and decreased feed efficiency are the predominant signs of chronic aflatoxin poisoning in livestock, according to the South Dakota State University Cooperative Extension Service.
High levels of aflatoxin fed to dairy cows can lead to contamination of the milk that is produced.
Acceptable levels of aflatoxin in animal feed according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are as follows:
< 300 parts per billion (ppb) for corn intended for finishing beef cattle;
< 200 ppb for corn intended for finishing swine of 100 pounds or greater;
< 100 ppb for corn intended for breeding beef cattle, breeding swine, or mature poultry;
< 20 ppb for corn intended for immature animals, dairy animals, animal species, uses not specified above or when the intended use is not known.
For specific information on acceptable FDA aflatoxin levels, click here.
For more information on testing aflatoxin levels, contact the South Dakota State University Diagnostic Clinic at 605-688-5545. Services offered include aflatoxin, fumonisin, zearalenone, and deoxynivalenol screenings.
Source: SD Department of Agriculture