The wet and cool fall weather Iowa and the Corn Belt has experienced this year should be cause for producers to check for the potential risk for mycotoxins in their corn crop.
Mycotoxins are chemicals produced by fungi (mold) under certain climatic conditions. This year’s corn harvest may be at greater risk due to the recent weather conditions. Prevalence and concentration of mycotoxins in grain can be sporadic and vary annually, even in the same location.
Mycotoxins are potentially toxic to humans and animals. A few of the mycotoxins known to occur in Iowa are aflatoxin, fumonisin, vomitoxin (DON) zearalenone, and infrequently, ochratoxin and T-2. Producers are encouraged work with their local veterinarians to better understand how to mitigate risks to their livestock and determine which animals are most susceptible to the effects of the various Mycotoxins.
The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine offers a rapid screening test that can be a valuable tool in analyzing feed or grain for mycotoxins.
Veterinarians and producers may submit their grain or feed samples to Iowa State’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Ames. A mycotoxin screening submission form is available at https://vetmed.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/VDL/forms/Mycotoxin-Form.pdf and samples can be sent in the mail.
A mycotoxin panel is available through the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for $100/sample. There is a $10 submission fee and a 1% surcharge.