Mold in dairy feed
Nine things to think about
If you are concerned that mold risks could be a problem, the following guidelines may be helpful:
- Testing for mycotoxins can provide an estimation of risk. Tests can be expensive and sampling and feed variation can reduce the usefulness of the results.
- Drying wet corn below 15 percent moisture stops further toxin development.
- High moisture corn could increase the risk of additional mold growth until the pH of the fermented corn drops.
- Adding a grain inoculant to speed up fermentation and stabilize the wet corn is recommended.
- Young animals and pregnant cattle are at higher risk while steers can tolerate higher levels.
- Removing fines, damaged seeds, and cracked corn kernels can reduce toxin risk.
- Distillers grain produced from ethanol production can concentrate the level of toxins in the original corn used; know your sources of distillers grain.
- Corn silage made late in the season with mold damage could have toxins, but the low pH will stop additional toxin production.
- Adding propionic acid at the time of ensiling can reduce mold development in wet corn.
Back to late harvest page