GFM Network News



Ergot (seen at right) is a common cause of mycotoxin in grains.

Mycotoxins and beef cattle

Health: News Roundup from the January 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The Beef Cattle Research Council recently posted an article on mycotoxins and how they affect beef cattle. Mycotoxins are produced by certain types of fungi. Fusarium and ergot are two of the most common causes. Mycotoxins can be found in green pasture, cereal swaths, standing corn for winter grazing, cured and ensiled grass, cereal forages […] Read more


Rye production could fall 25 per cent, analyst says

CNS Canada — This year’s Canadian rye harvest appears positioned to carry on the crop’s recent trend with another production decline. Dry conditions in many regions of the Prairies and ergot in Manitoba are expected to drive down yields. Jonathan Hull of The Scoular Co. said he has been hearing from farmers that yields could […] Read more



The first three years of the study were done on lambs and cattle are next, if funding is approved.

Ergot contamination more complex than first imagined

The process of converting ergot-contaminated grain into feed pellets may decrease its toxicity, contrary to popular belief, according to a recent Alberta Agriculture study. However, the concentration as well as the types of ergot alkaloids present affects its toxicity to livestock, raising more questions about this harmful fungus. “The impact of the ergot is going […] Read more

Top court in Egypt permits wheat with trace ergot

Cairo | Reuters — Egypt’s top administrative court has ruled that the country should accept wheat with marginal levels of the common grain fungus ergot, a local newspapers said on Sunday, freezing a lower court order to ban the fungus entirely which had vexed traders. Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, baffled grain markets when […] Read more


Sustained intake of ergot contaminated feed will shut down blood supply to an animal's extremities, and over time, worsen its condition.

Ergot poisoning: An ancient scourge remains a problem in modern rations

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The negative impacts of ergot contamination in food were recognized as early as the fifth century AD. Ergot, a plant parasite, commonly affects rye grass, but wheat, rye, barley, oats, brome, fescue, blue, timothy, western and intermediate wheatgrass and other grasses can also be infected. Environmental conditions associated with a cool wet spring followed by […] Read more



Grain grading changes for Western Canada

The Canadian Grain Commission has announced several grain grading changes for the 2017 to 2018 crop year in Western Canada that will take effect August 1, 2017: It has added an ergot tolerance of 0.05 per cent in all grades of fababeans and chickpeas; Changed the tolerance for grasshopper and army worm damage from eight […] Read more