As livestock producers you want to provide quality nutrition to your animals. You are interested in the welfare of your animals and you know that animal performance is paramount to the success of your livestock operation. You are aware that mold growth in feed will reduce animal performance because molds consume nutrients in feed and negatively impact feed palatability. Also under some conditions, molds can produce mycotoxins that may adversely affect animal performance and health.
Mold spores are everywhere. Livestock feeds often contain mold spores. Two key factors necessary for mold growth are heat and moisture. Hot summer temperatures negatively impact animal performance and hot, humid weather provides the conditions for mold spores to grow and proliferate. Molds in feed can potentially reduce animal performance by 5% to 10% and increase health problems. But if mycotoxins are present the losses in production performance and the health issues are even greater.
You may have seen the “web-like” appearance of mold growth in your feed or silage bunker. This is what is known as the mycelial growth phase of the mold spore life cycle. It is during the mycelial phase that mycotoxin production can occur.
There are two strategies you can you can implement in your feeding program to reduce the impact of molds and mycotoxins in feeds. The first strategy is to add a mold inhibitor like Brookside Agra’s MoldLess 50% dry to feed rations. Adding a mold inhibitor will not decrease the molds that are already present but it will inhibit new mold growth and reduce the risk of mycotoxins being produced. The second strategy is to add an aluminosilicate product like FloBond to reduce the deleterious effects mycotoxins, especially aflatoxin which is the most toxic of all the mycotoxins.
MoldLess 50% can be added to feeds at the rate of 2 to 4 pounds (1 – 2 kg) per ton depending on the moisture content of the feed. MoldLess 50% is a blend of acids making it a broad spectrum product for inhibiting mold and yeast growth in feeds.
FloBond can be added to feeds at the rate of 2 to 6 pounds (1 – 2.5 kg) per ton of feed depending on the level of aflatoxin present.
Since molds can produce mycotoxins, it is a good idea to take a two-pronged approach. Using both a mold inhibitor product like MoldLess 50% and an aluminosilicate clay like FloBond can provide the 1…2… punch needed to most effectively manage the negative effects of molds and mycotoxins.