Process Management

News last update:6 Aug 2012

Managing mycotoxins key for pig producers

At the Victorian Pig Fair, held in Australia on 21 March, several speakers updated the audience on how to combat mycotoxins to maintain a sustainable pig production.

Mr Edwards, one of the speakers, said that producers need to focus on three main areas to maintain productivity: water, alternative feed materials and the most damaging, mycotoxins. Mycotoxins can appear when least expected (when there are damp, mouldy or dry conditions) and occur far more commonly than previously thought. However now, in years of drought, mycotoxins have become a particular concern for a number of reasons, including the utilisation of previous season's grains emerging from long term storage, weather patterns of hot days/cold nights predisposing silos to condensation and the use of spoilt bales for bedding.

Properties of adsorbent
To counteract mycotoxins, Edwards suggested a mycotoxin adsorbent with the following properties be added to the feed:
· Ability to adsorb a broad spectrum of possible toxins
· Capacity to adsorb the volume of toxins present at low inclusion rate
· Rapid adsorption of the toxin
· Strength to remain bound to and hold the toxin through the intestinal tract and the associated pH range
· Stability so it can remain active after feed processing
· Proven in vivo data with all major mycotoxins
· Proven track record of success on farm

Chronic mycotoxicosis
Dr D'Souza's (Alltech) presentation higlighted the risk producers face with over 300 mycotoxins being identified, and questioned how we can measure the threat mycotoxins pose. He showed that the greatest financial losses are from chronic mycotoxicosis, which can cause immunosuppression, reduced growth performance, reduced fertility and high incidence of digestive disorders. He encouraged producers to adopt management practices to address the problem of mycotoxins in feed including proper post-harvest drying, good storage practices, dilution of contaminated ingredients and the use of an effective mycotoxin adsorbent.

This seminar on mycotoxins during the Victorian Pig Fair was sponsored by Alltech.

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