Mycotoxins: Know What to Look For in Your Herd

Explore the signs and symptoms that indicate mycotoxins could be negatively affecting your beef cattle herd.

 

Mycotoxins are invisible chemicals that are produced by a number of different fungi, many that will colonize crops. These chemicals have a negative affect on both animals and humans, and their presence could be causing illness within your herd. According to a South Florida Beef Forage article, many Florida producers believe mycotoxins are present in Florida pastures, and that the chemicals “increase incidence of disease and reduce production efficiency.” See the indicators for mycotoxicity in cattle from the article below.

Mycotoxin Signs and Symptoms

According to the article, mycotoxins can create a number of symptoms. Producers may see indicators such as “digestive disorders, reduced feed consumption, poor weight gain, rough hair coat or abnormal hair conditions, undernourished appearance, impaired reproduction, and an increased chance of acquiring an infectious disease.” Other indicators include:

“1. Decreased performance-

-Reduced appetite, reduced feed efficiency, reduced weight gain

-Reduced milk production and potential for illegal milk residue.

2. Signs of Liver Damage-

-Increased hepatic enzymes and bilirubin on serum chemistries
-Prolonged clotting times (hemorrhage/nosebleeds)
-Icterus (jaundice)
-Neurologic signs including depression, lethargy, ataxia
(staggering), circling, recumbancy

3. Reduced immune competence-

-Vaccine failure or poor antibiotic response
-Decreased cell-mediated immunity, cytokine production,
and nonspecific humoral factors such as complement, interferon,
and some bactericidal serum components.

4. Abortion …may cross placenta and cause damage to fetal tissue.

5. Death”

Testing in a lab is the only way to determine if mycotoxins are present in any Florida forage pastures.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.