Mycotoxin contamination in maize harvested in Spain in 2020


MycoMan Harvest Bulletin Spain

Mycotoxin contamination in newly harvested grain is a very important parameter to consider. That grain is used to feed the animals for the whole year, until the next harvest. As the saying goes, “knowing the enemy is half the battle won.”

In turn, if we know the level of contamination, we can think about the best use of the wheat: to which animal species it can be fed (avoiding the more sensitive species in cases of high contamination or decreasing the level of maize in their diet) and which product should be used to decrease possible negative effects of contamination on animal performance and health.

Based on the results of this survey, the 2020 maize crop in Spain should not automatically be considered safe for inclusion in finished feed rations for all animal species.

The mycotoxin occurrence level in maize was high – 98% of samples were contaminated, 76% – with 2 to 4 mycotoxins at the same time – multiple mycotoxin contamination. 80% of maize samples were contaminated with DON, 70% – with FUM, 50% – with ZEA.

Levels of DON, ZEA were low and present a low risk for the animal health and performance. Average level of FUM found can present medium risk for sensitive animals like horses. Level of AFB1 may present low to moderate risk for dairy cows.

Considering the mycotoxin levels detected and the likelihood of multiple mycotoxins (detected in 76% of samples), there is a greater probability of observing negative effects of the mycotoxicosis when maize is used in levels above 50% of the ration.

Based on the results of this survey conducted by Adisseo, the 2020 maize crop in Spain is of variable quality and should not automatically be considered safe for inclusion in finished feed rations for all animal species.

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