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Mycosorb linked to eliminating mycotoxins

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Dairy farmers are being urged to look out for symptoms of mycotoxins following an outbreak at a farm in Dorset.

A herd of 320 high-yielding Holsteins at the Hazel Lane Dairy, which is part of the Puncknowle Manor Estate in Dorset, were suffering from some unexplained symptoms such as swollen hocks and a significant drop in milk.

Jeremy Belfield, the Dairy Manager at Hazel Lane, turned to Trevor Birchall of TBA Agriculture to discover the root of the problem.

Ever present in the environment, mycotoxins are produced naturally by all types of moulds. They affect animals in different ways, but as there are many types diagnosis or identification is difficult.

What is known, however, is that high-producing dairy cows are more susceptible to the effects of mycotoxins than low-producing animals.

Having walked the herd, and through close observation with Jeremy and his team, Trevor concluded that the cows were  suffering from mycotoxins and recommended the use of the mycotoxins binder Mycosorb from Alltech to deal with the problem.

The product, which was launched in 1993, is Alltech’s biggest selling and fastest growing product worldwide and has already been awarded two patents which protect its novel composition and methods of production.

Rob Strawbridge, who works alongside Jeremy at the Hazel Lane dairy, explained: Trevor was the only person to suggest mycotoxins and was 99.9% convinced that this was the reason for the symptoms.

The maize silage which is bought from another unit was examined and blue mould, most likely to be Penicilium, was identified.

However, since we put Mycosorb in the ration in November the problem has been eradicated. We have had intakes increase to 51kgs/hd from a previous low earlier of 42/43kgs. The biggest effect has been the consistency of the milk yield with none of the variations day to day that was previously evident.

Jeremy added: When we ran out of Mycosorb at Christmas for two or three weeks, within days we were seeing a return of the swollen hocks and lesions. However these quickly disappeared again after the reintroduction of Mycosorb.

My advice to anyone who has cows is that it is never too late to check for mycotoxins no matter what the yield level. There is no better evidence that the product works as we are now averaging 10300lts, and whether it is coincidence or not the cell counts have come down from the 180s to the 120s!

His advice is also supported by Graeme Smith, Technical Sales Manager at Alltech. He suggests that if mycotoxins are suspected a broad spectrum of binder should be used which can deal adequately with both Fusarium and Penicilium-borne mycotoxins.

The product also needs to be backed up with In Vivo peer-reviewed data and must not contain clay as this can be a potential source of dioxin and heavy metal contamination, explained Graeme.

Clay has also been shown to bind vital vitamins and minerals, making them difficult for the cow to absorb.

He also urged others to consider the source of their feed:  Remember your brand or business is only as strong as the weakest supplier, so ensure that you choose a supplier who manufactures and packages their own products and provides technical back up you can rely on.

Alltech is one of the leading animal health companies in the world. They are committed to providing natural solutions to meet the needs of the animal production industry worldwide and also to ensuring that they adhere to the pioneering ACE Principle deliver performance for the Animal, beneficial for the Consumer and natural and safe for the Environment.

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