With early harvest feed grain samples confirming a high risk year for potential feed quality issues in parts of Canada, Canadian Bio-Systems Inc. (CBS Inc.) advised livestock operations and feed mills to take cautionary steps to safeguard feed quality and livestock performance.

“The risk of feed grain quality issues that can affect livestock performance is quite high this year,” said Rob Patterson, technical director for CBS Inc., in a press release. “That’s no surprise with the type of growing season it has been across the Prairies. In many areas it has been very wet with high disease pressure and high risk of mycotoxins, mold and other issues. We are now seeing the risk confirmed in reports from across the region, based on analysis of early harvest grain samples.

“It’s a year when livestock operations and feed mills will want to be even more diligent than normal in taking the right steps to safeguard the quality of feed and the performance of livestock consuming the feed,” said Patterson.

Testing for mycotoxins

To assess the risk of cereal mycotoxin contamination, a good starting point is to send in feed grain samples for analysis, said Patterson.

“This can identify the presence and level of mycotoxins and other contaminants. Once you know what you’re dealing with you can take the steps needed avoid any issues,” he said.

The convenience, sophistication and accuracy of fast test capability has improved dramatically in recent years, said Mark Peters, director of sales and marketing for CBS Inc., in a press release.

“We have seen a lot more interest in the testing. Industry has become more knowledgeable and cautious about the risk out there and how it can impact production,” said Peters. “The testing is a good insurance policy and it’s good for peace of mind. Especially in a year like this one.”

The company offers a tool called MycoCheck that has been developed in part based on studies in partnership with Canadian universities.

“The customer sends us a sample, we run the analysis and get back quickly with the information to support a sound management decision,” says Peters.

CBS Inc. conducts an annual wheat survey in cooperation with industry and the University of Manitoba.

New mycotoxin reports

New occurrences of mycotoxins have been reported in the US and Canadian corn and wheat crops in the past week, according to Neogen’s Mycotoxin Report on September 12. A new report of deoxynivalenol (DON) in wheat was confirmed in Saskatchewan, Canada.