Egg Industry Articles


Biomin Reports on Mycotoxin Content of 2016 Corn Crop

Feb 24, 2017


US feed and livestock producers should carefully monitor mycotoxin contamination in ingredients and feed, based on results in the latest BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey.

For 2016 in the United States, a total of 387 corn samples sourced from over 26 different states and 79 DDGS samples sourced from 14 different states were analyzed in three different laboratories (Romer Labs Inc., USA; Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Iowa State University, USA; Activation Laboratories, Canada) in order to identify the presence and potential risk posed to livestock animal production by six major mycotoxin groups.


The survey results provide an insight to the prevalence of aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisins (FUM), T-2 toxin (T-2), and ochratoxin A (OTA).In total, 387 corn samples and 79 distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) samples were sourced from across the US in 2016. Approximately 90% of corn samples and all DDGS samples tested positive for at least one mycotoxin.

“The mycotoxin threat was higher in 2016 than in 2015,” stated Dr Raj Murugesan, Technical and Marketing Director of BIOMIN America.

“Deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisins (FUM) and zearalenone (ZEN) in particular present a potential risk to livestock animal production. This gives greater importance to regular monitoring of feed, crops, and silages,” he added.

2016 US corn highlights:

  • Deoxynivalenol was present in 75% (72% in 2015) of samples at an average contamination levels of 1670 ppb (691 ppb in 2015).
  • Fumonisins prevalence reached 72% (52% in 2015) with an average contamination level of 4424 ppb.
  • Zearalenone increased compared to 2015 to 42% (17% in 2015) while the average contamination almost doubled to 412 ppb from 247 ppb in 2015.

“All three major toxins (DON, FUM, and ZEN) have an increased prevalence in US corn harvested in 2016 in comparison to 2015,” said Dr Erika Hendel, Swine Technical Manager at BIOMIN.

2016 US DDGS highlights:

  • All 79 DDGS samples tested positive for deoxynivalenol, averaging 2681 ppb.
  • Fumonisins and zearalenone were present in 88% and 71% of samples, respectively.

“Rainfall during the silking period for the 2016 crop along with warmer average temperatures are likely to have contributed to greater Fusarium fungi growth,” explained Dr Murugesan. Fusarium fungi can produce several mycotoxins including deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisins (FUM) and zearalenone (ZEN).
Impacts on livestock

The presence of mycotoxins is associated with poorer feed quality, impaired animal performance and health challenges. “Certain combinations of mycotoxins are known to have synergistic effects,” warned Dr Murugesan. He added “that means an intensified negative impact on animals, even at reasonably low levels.”

The annual BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey constitutes the longest running and most comprehensive survey of its kind, using advanced analytic tools on more than 16,000 samples taken from 81 countries worldwide. Over 60,000 analyses were conducted to identify the presence and potential risk posed to livestock animal production.