Canada: Potential fusarium head blight infection
Swine producers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Canada, are being advised to test wheat intended
for swine feed for deoxynivalenon, or DON, the mycotoxin that is produced by
fusarium head blight.
Climatic conditions throughout Manitoba this year were ideal for the
development of disease resulting in widespread infection of the province's hard
red spring wheat crop.Wetter climate
â€œIf you look at
the distribution of fusarium head blight and who's likely to have conditions
that are most conducive to fusarium, we definitely see southern Manitoba and
south-eastern Saskatchewan as the main areas, largely because we seem to be in a
wetter climate so we have more humidity and we also tend to be warmer,â€ Dr.
Anita BrÃ»lé-Babel, a plant geneticist and wheat breeder with the University of
Manitoba's department of plant science explains.
â€œThe species that can
not tolerate very high levels of deoxynivalenon or fusarium are pigs,â€ says
Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) farm production
extension specialist-swine Ron Bazylo based in Dauphin.
â€œIt's been shown
that levels above one part per million in a complete feed will result in some
feed refusal. If you have levels anywhere from one to two parts per million
you'll get feed refusal of up to five percent and at levels such as four parts
per million you can get feed refusal of up to 25 percent.â€Feed
Bazylo notes he is aware of one producer who was feeding
levels just above five parts per million and the pigs stopped eating completely.
Although the mycotoxin doesn't appear to have a strong reproductive effect he
recommends against feeding contaminated grain to dry or lactating sows. Bazylo
encourages swine producers, if they're purchasing grain, to make sure it comes
from a producer that has tested it for fusarium. Click here for
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