Abstract #127

# 127
Use of technology to better understand multi-mycotoxin and emerging mycotoxin challenges.
A. Weaver*1, 1Alltech Inc, Nicholasville, KY.

Mycotoxins can increase disease susceptibility as well as reduce performance, and therefore are a challenge faced by agricultural industries worldwide. Additionally, many scientific works have demonstrated that mycotoxin co-contamination can further increase risk. Despite the important role mycotoxins play in dairy cow productivity, mycotoxin occurrence and concentration are difficult to track without the support of monitoring programs. Thankfully, technology in the agricultural sector is evolving and on the rise. Various methods such as weather and soil mapping have been developed for early prediction of mold presence and may be used to assess the link between environmental conditions, soil quality, crop growth and health, mold spore transfer and mold colonization. Advances in mycotoxin analysis have also occurred. Through the advent of rapid, precise and accurate detection methods the characterization and identification of multiple mycotoxins, their metabolites, conjugated forms and emerging mycotoxins is now possible. Quantification using LC-MS/MS may provide the most accurate picture of mycotoxin risk as it allows for structural diversity, varying extraction efficiencies, interferences with complex feed matrices and potential for multi-mycotoxins. These challenges had been successfully met by developing 37+ analysis, a research backed multi-mycotoxin method applied to animal feed matrices that has been extended, optimized, and validated for 50 mycotoxins in a cost-effective manner. Over the past 6 years, the evaluation of more than 25,000 samples from around the world have demonstrated that more than 96% of samples contain mycotoxins with 89% of samples containing 2 or more mycotoxins (average 5 mycotoxins per sample). These results clearly demonstrate the need for management programs that account for multi-mycotoxin challenges. Overall, mycotoxins can be one challenge holding the dairy cow back from reaching her genetic potential. However, techniques that assess, monitor and minimize mycotoxin risk from the field to the cow are available that can manage mycotoxins and reduce effects on cow performance and profitability.

Key Words: mold, mycotoxin, technology