Mycotoxicoses: Prevention or Treatment?

The AgroFarm-2012 will for the first time feature an information center on the prevention of animal mycotoxicosis. The forum will provide a comprehensive presentation of methodologies and products for mycotoxicosis prevention such as technologies and assets for the production and storage of feedstuffs, products reducing pathogenic influences, and equipment for mycotoxin testing in livestock feed.

Mycotoxins are one of the risks involved in feeding pigs, poultry and cattle. In addition to damaging animal health and reducing farm profitability, low quality fodder poses a threat to consumers because mycotoxins can accumulate in meat, milk and eggs.

Information is available about three mechanisms whereby mycotoxins affect animals. The first results in impaired nutrient absorption and metabolism; the second involves endocrine and neuroendocrine disorders; and the third – most dangerously – leads to the suppression of immune systems. Diagnosis and treatment of mycotoxicoses presents additional challenges in that affected animals display a variety of different symptoms due to secondary infections resulting from weakened immunity.

Therefore, the most effective way of dealing with mycotoxicoses is prevention by means of eliminating mycotoxic contamination of feed and inactivation of mycotoxins.Recognizing the importance of this issue, the AgroFarm organizers (DLG International GmbH and IEC of AREC) are giving it a special focus by putting together a show dealing specifically with a comprehensive coverage of mycotoxicoses. “We would like to use visual aids to demonstrate ways of fighting mycotoxins,  concentrating on a wide range of animal feeds (grain, silage, haylage, etc.),” commented Olga Hunger, AgroFarm project manager for DLG International GmbH.

The new information center will comprise five sections. The introductory section will present information on the most commonly encountered mycotoxins and their impact on animals. This part is being developed by the organizers in close cooperation with researchers and educators. The section entitled “Preventing Mycotoxin Infections in Fodder Crops Cultivation” will elaborate on such topics as fodder cropping technologies, selection of plant varieties resistant to fungal disease, plant protection products, etc.

The section “Feed Storage” will present a wide range of means to reduce the spread of mold-line fungi and minimize the accumulation of mycotoxins through pre-treatment of storage sites, fodder preservation and storage process control. The exhibit is planned to display mold inhibitors, silage making products, equipment for treating ensilage with preservatives, disinfection products, and products for elimination of mold spores in storage facilities, and fodder humidity and temperature measurement equipment.

The section “Reducing mycotoxin exposure of animals” will inform visitors about the following methods of minimizing the harmful effects of mycotoxins on livestock: the application of absorbents and complex feed supplements containing probiotics, antioxidants and enzymes.

The section “Quality control” will focus on ways to identify mycotoxins in animal feed and showcase laboratory equipment and testing systems.
An experienced consultant will conduct overview tours around all the sections of the information center and answer individual questions from visitors. Additionally, visitors will be able to have samples of their feedstuffs express-tested. In addition to the above, a conference to discuss “Prevention of mycotoxicoses in animals” will be held as part of the exhibition on February 8th, 2012 (Hall 75, Forum 3, starting at 10:30), thus providing visitors with the theoretical foundations of the problem and its practical solutions.

“The visual demonstrations of modern technologies combined with professional support will provide experts from cattle stock, poultry and pig farms, and animal feed factories with insights into advanced methodologies and products to prevent mycotoxicoses,” said Sergei Zhuravlev, the Russian head of  AgroFarm.