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Managing mycotoxins key for pig producers

Speakers at the last Victorian Pig Fair in Australia have warned their public for the dangers of mycotoxins.

The attendants of the fair, held 20-21 March, were informed by a lot of speakers how to combat mycotoxins to maintain a sustainable pig production.

Focus on three areas
Speaker Tony Edwards, from ACE Consulting, said that in pig production, focus on three main areas should be necessary: water, alternative feed materials and the most dangerous: 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
A presentation by Dr Darryl D'Souza (Alltech) 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.

D'Souza 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.

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

Related website:
• Victorian Pig Fair
• Alltech

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