Reliable on farm testing and sampling for mycotoxins destined for feed
Project 18-001- Lead Researcher: Dr. Art Schaafsma, Ridgetown College
Mycotoxins, especially vomitoxin (DON), coming from feed grains, continue to affect swine production in Ontario. Southwestern Ontario is known to be a "hot" region for the production of these toxins because of the moderating effect of the Great Lakes on climate. One of the biggest challenges in the management of mycotoxins is the inability to get a representative sample of the grain which results in uncertainty and variability in the test results. In this study Dr. Art Scaafsma proposes to use grain dust aspirated (by vacuum) from grain loads to determine mycotoxin concentrations in the grain before it is shipped, and/or as it is received, but before it is used in feed rations. Schaafsma’s lab at Ridgetown College, University of Guelph has recently confirmed an association between mycotoxin levels in wheat samples of grain and dust. Similarly, European research has determined a relationship between vomitoxin levels found in grain dust and grain samples. Dr. Schaafma’s research will test the idea that taking a sample of the dust while the grain is being transferred will provide a more representative and reliable picture of what level of mycotoxins are in the load. Their lab will test the samples for a panel of 25 different myoctoxins, including newly discovered NX compounds. This new mycotoxin testing method would obtain results more quickly than traditional testing as the dust is tested directly so no further sub-sampling or grinding would be required. After the initial testing is completed, the researcher plans to involve quick test providers to become partners in the project with the goal of eventually providing a mycotoxin quick test for grain dust samples that a producer could use on the farm.
photo credit: IITA
Researcher Profile: Dr. Art Schaafsma, Ridgetown College, University of Guelph