Experiences at first hand
Unfortunately one of our Danish customers experienced the problem of silo mould at first hand. He cleaned out a grain silo, which resulted in large amounts of leftover grain. The leftovers smelled badly, and were not a pretty sight.
A sample was sent for analysis to check for mycotoxin content. The result showed two types of toxins, not normally found in crops used for animal feed. One was a variant of Zearalenone (ZEA), and is about 60 times more harmful than ZEA. ZEA impairs oestrogen production in livestock. The other toxin was a precursor to Aflatoxin, which is not normally found in Danish grain. But it does indicate poor warehouse and storage conditions.
Changes in the weather – warm days and cold nights – can cause problems with humidity and condensation in silos. The problem can be exacerbated if the feed delivered to the silo contains heat from the mill and production. In due course, dust can combine with damp on the inside of the silo to start the formation of mould.
The incident confirms yet again how important strict hygiene in feed storage facilities is, and how it requires constant focus to maintain healthy feed for livestock.