This year's livestock feed has increased mold risk

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Ames, Iowa -- Livestock feed is at a higher risk of mold development this year due to a cool, wet growing season that delayed harvest, according to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Ames, Iowa

-- Animal feed made from corn and grains are at a higher risk of mold development this year due to a cool, wet growing season that delayed harvest, according to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

The damp growing and harvest seasons increase the risk for mold to develop on grain, VDL researchers report, which can lead to the formation of mycotoxins. A higher the normal level of mycotoxins, which can be toxic to humans and animals, were found in samples of corn from Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, Iowa, Texas and Wisconsin.

Levels of the mycotoxins are increased even further is the grain is fermented in ethanol processing plants, says Dr. Steve Ensley, a VDL toxicologist. VDL researchers urge veterinarians and producers to be aware of the source of their feed.

Symptoms of problems caused by mycotoxins can be found here.

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