August 19, 2008


Canadian pig producers face fusarium and mycotoxin threat


Moist conditions during flowering may have resulted in more of the wheat crop in Canada's Manitoba infected by mycotoxins, according to an advisor for Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI).


The heightened risk meant swine producers in the region would have to be vigilant against the threat to avoid feeding infected feed grains to hogs, farm production advisor for southwestern Manitoba Lionel Kaskiw said.


Of particular concern is Fusarium graminearum, one of the species common in Manitoba, which produces a number of mycotoxins.


Deoxynivalenon, or DON, one of the mycotoxins, when included in swine rations, causes feed refusal, resulting in slower growth. When eaten by pregnant gilts or sows, reproductive performance can be affected.


Other mycotoxins cause a range of breeding and reproductive problems including infertility or abortion.


However, the presence of fusarium in a field does not necessarily mean the grain will become contaminated by mycotoxins.


MAFRI recommend mitigating the inclusion of mycotoxins in swine rations in any way possible such as diluting the contaminated grains by mixing it with clean grains.

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