Update: 2017 Kemin Mold and Mycotoxin Report

Mold and mycotoxins in the corn crop are a perennial concern for livestock and poultry producers, and the performance implications they can have on animal production cannot be ignored. Growing conditions during a specific year can dramatically impact the mold and mycotoxin levels in grain. To better help producers understand the current year’s situation, Customer Laboratory Services (CLS) at Kemin analyzes corn samples for customers. Through these analyses, valuable information is gained which can help livestock and poultry producers make better management decisions to ensure they are providing high-quality and clean feed for their animals.

In 2017 through May 2018, Kemin CLS analyzed 192 samples of corn for mold and 143 samples for mycotoxins.

Feed mill silos

Mold Report Summary

  • 38% of samples contained more than one species of mold.
  • 80% of the corn samples analyzed for mold identification (n=150) contained fusarium mold.
    • Fusarium mold can produce T-2 toxin, vomitoxin, zearalenone and fumonisin mycotoxins.
  • Penicillium mold (34%) was the second most common mold, and Trichoderma (16%) was third most common.
  • Compared to prior years, the level of mold found in this crop is looking similar to the 2016 harvested crop.
    • In 2016, a greater percentage of samples arrived with penicillium mold than 2017 (38% versus 34%). Penicillium mold is a “storage mold” and is likely to impact more corn as temperatures increase.
  • The average mold count is greater in 2017 versus prior years.
  • Of these samples, 18% (34 samples) had more than 1,000,000 CFU/g.
    • Typically, producers find that corn over this level does not feed well and they discount values by 5%. This is an increase from samples submitted last year.
  • 40% of all samples (77 samples) were over 100,000 CFU/g.
    • At this level, problems can arise with breeding animals and young stock.
  • The trend has been upward - the longer this corn is stored, the more mold our customers might find in the crop.


Figure 1. Colony forming units (CFU) of mold found on corn samples submitted to Kemin CLS.1

Mycotoxin Report Summary

  • As with the mold data, the mycotoxin levels in the 2017 corn crop are very similar to 2016.
  • Aflatoxin – relatively clean, 2 with detectable levels (1%).
  • Zearalenone – 34 with detectable levels (24%).
    • Average level of 151 ppb.
    • The average level is up from last year, but the percentage of samples arriving with detectable levels of ZEA are lower.
  • T-2 Toxin – 75 with detectable levels (52%).
    • Average level of 44 ppb – mouth lesions have been reported in birds at 100 ppb.
    • This level is about the same as the samples received last year, but the percentage of samples arriving with T-2 Toxin are up from 2016.
  • DON (Vomitoxin) – 57 with detectable levels (40%).
    • Average level of 1.22 ppm – feed consumption issues in swine possible.
    • Average level is similar to last year, but a lower percentage are arriving with DON.
  • Fumonisin – 47 with detectable levels (33%).
    • Average level of 3.18 ppm. This toxin is a huge issue in Texas and Oklahoma.
  • 48% of all samples had more than one toxin.



First, contact your Kemin representative for more information on implementing a comprehensive mold and mycotoxin control program. Your Kemin representative has information and expertise which will increase the effectiveness of your program.

Second, complete the following:

  • Test all incoming grain. Samples submitted to Kemin CLS are showing high levels of fusarium mold - which is consistent with a wet growing season.
  • Check new corn silage for mold and mycotoxins. If these problems are found in the grain, we will see them in our corn silage as well. Mycotoxins impact animal performance, even at low levels.
  • Treat processed grains with Myco CURB® Liquid or Myco CURB® Dry to prevent further mold growth.
  • Use Ultra CURB® Liquid or Ultra CURB® Dry in all dairy TMRs to control both mold and wild yeast.
  • Use products like KALLSIL and FloMatrix® in all rations to improve the flow of feed ingredients and reduce the negative impacts associated with mold and mycotoxins.
  • This corn crop will not improve – continue to monitor the condition of grain during summary storage.



1Data from Kemin CLS corn samples submitted as part of an annual monitoring program.

2Bartov, I., N. Paster, and N. Lisher. 1982. Quality Grain Management Effects of the Feed Industry. Poultry Science. 61:2247-2254.

3Kao, C., and R. J. Robinson. Vitamins in Animal and Human Nutrition. 1972. J. Food Sci. 37:261.

4www.extension.psu.edu. Accessed on Dec. 28, 2017.

FloMatrix® is a registered trademark of PMI Nutritional Additives. 

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