95% of mycotoxins in the feed are produced in the field. It is not necessarily visible fungal growth in contaminated grains. The EU has set maximum values for the individual toxins in feed, but we have to remember that reaction of contamination with several toxins is unpredictable, even in small concentrations.
The situation is not stable from one year to another. Wet and cool conditions favor growth of Fusarium molds which can infect the plant during all growth periods and the level of toxins may increase. We have experienced wet and cool weather this year during the blossom-time of crops which increases the risk of a high toxin pressure.
Reports are that we will experience an increase in mycotoxin contamination in crops worldwide. According to a Biomin Survey corn in Central Europe for Q1 2020 shows 82% abundance of DON and an average of 903 ppb. Co-contamination was found in more than 60% samples from around the world.
The forecast for the coming harvest indicates potentially high levels of DON and moderate to high of FUM and ZEN in European wheat and corn (source: AllAboutFeed).
In addition climate changes and increases in mycotoxin contamination and co-contamination may promote new mycotoxins appearing in regions where they are not commonly found today.
As a consequence the presence of mycotoxins can cause adverse health effects in animals going from reproductive problems and immune deficiency to gastrointestinal and skin disorders. The negative effects on animal production are well-known: Impacted growth, high mortality, reduced milk and egg production, fertility, gut health and susceptibility to disease.