As a consequence of the hot and dry summers of recent years, the risk of mycotoxins being present in the current grain stock is quite high. Crop research in 2018 shows DON as the most prevalent mycotoxin in Europe. But who is this DON and where does he come from?
DON is often referred to by its alias ‘Vomitoxin’ because ingestion often leads to the animals rejecting the feed and sometimes upon ingestion we see vomiting. The official name is deoxynivalenol – but who will pronounce it? So DON is what we call it.
What is DON?
DON is a mycotoxin, which means it is a toxic secondary metabolite produced by fungi. It occurs in grains such as wheat, barley, oats, rye and corn, rice, sorghum. Fungi from the Fusarium family are usually the cause of Deoxynivalenol (DON), it is extremely toxic and produces a wide range of immunological disorders. It is especially known to induce feed rejection and vomiting in pigs, which is why the alternative name vomitoxin Deoxynivalenol (DON) usually occurs together with other Fusarium toxins, such as Zearalenone, Nivalenol and its derivatives as well as the group fumonisins.
The presence of DON is sure to have a negative impact on growth, performance and well-being if ingested in significant amounts. What DON does is inhibit protein synthesis, which causes the brain to decrease its uptake of the amino acid tryptophan and, in turn, its synthesis of serotonin. This reduction in serotonin is responsible for the main adverse effect of DON in domestic animals: feed rejection.
How can DON be managed?
When DON is present in your crop at the time of harvest, it is impossible to get it out. Therefore, it is generally recommended to dose a good mycotoxin binder in the feed. The effectiveness of absorption is very important when choosing your strategy against mycotoxins. At Agmondo, we can recommend among several types of solutions such as toxin binders or acids, depending on the strategy that best suits your business. We are ready to help with advice, guidance, as well as the right products that can contribute to problem solving.
Solve problems early
To stop the growth of the fungi in the silo present at harvest, it is not always enough to dry the grain down to 15%. We see many challenges with crops harvested last year and at the end of the season as you approach the bottom of the silo you often experience a lot of fungus and mycotoxins. This can be avoided by treating with acids already at the start of harvest. Traditionally, propionic acid is the preferred choice for inactivating the fungus, but as pure acid can be cumbersome to handle. If you want a more gentle and still highly concentrated product, the ProSid MI700 is one of the newer products Agmondo brings to market. ProSid MI700 can make acid preservation safer to handle and less corrosive with the same effectiveness against the fungus.
Out in the field, you can keep the fungal pressure down by making sure that last year’s crops are plowed extremely well at the end of the harvest to avoid the same fusarium surviving, thereby creating the basis for a recurrence next year. There are researchers who predict similar summers in the future. Therefore, a long-term strategy against fusarium will help you in the long run.
We are, as always, ready to help you and that is why we currently have good offers for you on the products you could need to handle fungi on your farm.