GFM Network News


Alltech’s harvest analysis found an average of more than five different mycotoxins per sample, and so producers need to be on guard, says company official Max Hawkins.

Mycotoxin risk likely to be high in some Alberta feed grains

Last year’s growing conditions created a perfect breeding ground for some dangerous mycotoxins, including DON

Variable weather conditions across the Prairies could cause problems with mycotoxins in feed this winter. “The No. 1 most influencing factor in mycotoxins is weather,” said Max Hawkins of Alltech’s mycotoxin management team. “Weather determines which moulds we’re going to have, the amount of those moulds, and those moulds determine the variety of mycotoxin.” Mycotoxins […] Read more

Moulds and mycotoxins can be hidden hazards in feed, says ruminant nutritionist Amanda Van de Kerckhove.

Mycotoxins — the invisible danger for livestock

Ruminant nutritionist offers tips to ensure feed doesn’t pose a health hazard to your cattle

Mould and mycotoxins can be tricky, but there are a few tips that can help prevent them from hurting your cattle. That was the message that Amanda Van De Kerckhove, ruminant nutritionist with Co-op Feeds, brought to Northlands’ first BeefTech event. “It can be a little overwhelming when you look at all the factors that […] Read more


Tips when feeding unharvested crops

Digestibility, nutrient levels, and presence of mycotoxins are factors to consider before swath grazing or baling

Using overwintered cereal crops for swath grazing this spring — or baling for use as greenfeed next fall and winter — is an option but raises some concerns. “Typically, protein and energy contents are lower in the spring compared to the fall,” said provincial beef and forage specialist Barry Yaremcio. “Digestibility of the feeds can […] Read more

Toxins could be present in ensiled corn

Watch for the presence of mycotoxins when feeding ensiled corn. When the toxins T-2, HT-2 and DON (vomitoxin) are present, cattle will reduce the amount of feed they eat, said provincial veterinary toxicologist Joe Kendall. “However, if you ensile the standing crop with the mycotoxins present, you are mixing good and contaminated feed together so […] Read more


Vigilance is the key to keeping fusarium at low levels in Alberta, says a provincial crop specialist.

Don’t let down your guard when it comes to fusarium

Provincial crop specialist says seed testing and using seed treatment are critical

Fusarium head blight outbreaks can cause significant losses in grain yield and grain quality, while also resulting in the production of mycotoxin-Deoxynyvalenol that affects livestock feed, the baking and milling quality of wheat and the malting and brewing qualities of malt barley. That’s why producers need to be vigilant, even if its rate of infection […] Read more



Kevin Bender presents to a group at the National Association of British and Irish Flour Millers.

Wheat buyers pumped when Alberta farmers visit

Wheat buyers have all kinds of questions from mycotoxins and food safety 
to supply and crop data, and they also want to meet growers in person

When Lynn Jacobson went to Asia on a trade mission, he found his preconceived notions were completely wrong. “My preconception of what society was like over there was completely changed,” said the grain farmer from Enchant. “I thought they were 10 to 15 years behind us, but in some ways they’re 10 to 15 years […] Read more

It is impossible to determine whether pelleted feed contains ergot toxins without laboratory testing. The sample on the left contains 230 ppb ergot toxins. The sample on the right contains 38,900 ppb.

Ergot becomes invisible in manufactured feed

Researchers and feed makers say new guidelines for assessing risk are needed

The two pictures of pelleted feed veterinary toxicologist Dr. Barry Blakley put up on the screen at a recent ergot symposium here looked identical. But one had enough toxins in it to kill livestock. The rising levels of ergot in western Canadian cereal grains and forages has turned into a nightmare for the manufactured feed […] Read more