Weather conditions strongly influence fungal growth and the production of mycotoxins. High precipitation this summer created a favorable environment for severe Fusarium mycotoxin contamination – mainly deoxynivalenol, zearalenone – along with reports of animals’ reduced feed intake, feed refusal, vomiting and poor growth performance from the field.
A total of 223 corn samples from the 2014 harvest were sourced from September to October across Europe. Table 1 gives an overview of the occurrence of deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEN) in the different corn samples per region.
Table 1: Occurrence of ZEN and DON in European corn samples, 2014 harvest
|Number of samples tested||132||223|
|Average of positive (μg/kg)||497||3,221|
Distribution of mycotoxins according to risk levels
The risk levels of ZEN and DON are analyzed according to the percentage of samples in the different contamination ranges. The main result from this new corn harvest survey was the following:
- 56% of all surveyed samples showed contamination levels above 900 ppb DON (EU guidance values for DON in complementary and complete feedstuffs for pigs, EC 2006).
- 47% of all corn samples contained levels above 100 ppb ZEN (EU guidance values for ZEN in complementary and complete feedstuffs for piglets and gilts, EC 2006).
Moreover, results show that 94 % of all samples tested contain at least 1 mycotoxin and that 50 % of samples exhibit co-contaminations.