Combined Mycotoxin Threat to Livestock Rated High in the US, According to BIOMIN Survey

US - Increased occurrence and co-occurrence levels in the 2015 corn harvested in the United States pose a higher risk to livestock production in 2016, according to the latest BIOMIN Corn Survey.
calendar icon 29 March 2016
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A total of 381 corn samples sourced from over 20 different states were analyzed at 3 different labs (Romer Labs Inc., USA; Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Iowa State University, USA; Activation Laboratories, Canada) for the presence of 6 major mycotoxin groups that commonly affect the health and performance of livestock and poultry.

Main findings

  • 94 per cent of corn samples tested positive for the presence of at least one mycotoxin, an increase of 9 per cent from last year.
  • 50 per cent of samples tested positive for more than one mycotoxin, a 37 per cent increase from 2014.

DON, FUM, and ZEN pose higher threats

The occurrence of deoxynivalenol (DON) was at 79 per cent, an increase of 27 per cent when compared to 2014, and fumonisins (FUM) was at 59 per cent, a 7 per cent over 2014.

The average contamination levels of DON, FUM, and ZEN were at 765 ppb, 2,891 ppb, and 615 ppb, respectively. Contamination level of ZEN was increased by 27 per cent to an average of 615 ppb compared to 484 ppb seen in 2014.

Contamination above risk threshold

Detected occurrence above the risk level of 100 ppb was 71 per cent for ZEN (13 per cent in 2014) while it was 19 per cent for DON above 900 ppb (25 per cent in 2014), and 12 per cent for FUM above 5,000 ppb (only 4 per cent in 2014). While contamination levels of all the toxins increased, DON, ZEN, and FUM present the main threats in the 2015 US corn samples.

“Due to their common co-occurrence and increased occurrence levels compared to previous years, DON and ZEN present a combined threat to livestock production in 2016,” said Dr Raj Murugesan, Technical and Marketing Director of BIOMIN America, Inc.

“The extensive contamination of corn by multiple mycotoxins highlights the need for proper mycotoxin risk management solutions that encompass several modes of action,” said Mr Ruben Beltran, Chief Operating Officer of BIOMIN USA, Inc.

About the survey

Since 2004, the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey annual research analyzes thousands of agricultural commodity samples (corn, wheat, barley, rice, soy, silage, and finished feed, etc.) from across the world as part of a risk management warning system to identify the occurrence of mycotoxin-related risks to livestock.

As part of the ongoing mycotoxin risk management program, BIOMIN has also been assessing the occurrence of mycotoxins in the new corn crop every year from the United States of America since 2012.

The full report can be found on the BIOMIN website,

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