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Dec 05, 2018

Maize silage feeding after drought condition – part 3/3

Dec 05, 2018

maizesilagepart3

IV. Yeasts, molds and mycotoxins risks

  • In drought conditions there is a significantly higher risk of yeast contamination . In a US trial 28% of 183 drought affected maize samples had yeast counts above 10,000,000 CFU/g.
  • Risk of decreasing feed intake due to alcohol production, DM losses, reduced energy and high nitrate content.
  • Risk of aerobic instability and heating of the forage when opened. High levels of sugar available. A high sugar content in silage is more susceptible to heating than a high starch content.
  • Drought stressed plants are more vulnerable to mold contamination and higher mycotoxins risks.

Solutions and recommendations:

  • Silage feed out management:
  • Do not uncover more of the silo than will be fed daily.
  • Remove sufficient silage to prevent silage heating > 20 cm.
  • Do not allow silage to sit in loose piles for long periods, as it may start to deteriorate.
  • Remove silage from the silo immediately before feeding.
  • Use an appropriate toxin binder to deal with potentially high mycotoxin levels.
  • Use of an heterofermentative bacterial inoculant will help prevent yeasts, molds and mycotoxin development in the silage.

yeastsmaizesilage

Figure 1: Yeast contamination (n=183, Jul-Sept 2012, Dairyland Labs).