Document Type


Publication Date



ruminants, corn distillers grains, mycotoxins, dairy cattle diet

Extension Number

ExEx 4038


Dairy Science


The main fungi that produce toxins during storage belong to three genera: Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Penicillium. When dealing with cattle diets, it is not easy to correlate the presence of mycotoxins to that of molds. The same types of molds can produce different types of toxins, and different types of molds can produce the same mycotoxin. When addressing mycotoxicosis, the fact that multiple ingredients usually make up a dairy cattle diet can be viewed both positively and negatively. On the one hand, multiple feeds dilute the toxins from any given feed, resulting in a safer diet. On the other hand, because the effect of toxins can be additive, if there are multiple contaminated feeds, the toxic effect of the feeds will be compounded. The primary toxins of concern are aflatoxin, zearalenone, trichothecene, fumonisin, ochratoxin, and patulin.


March 2008.