GFM Network News


Sweet clover is high in coumarin, which converts to dicoumarol – a potent vitamin K antagonist and anticoagulant– if the plant is spoiled or damaged.

Vet Advice: Avoiding sweet clover poisoning

A variety of bacteria and moulds can grow in sweet clover once baled or put up as silage

Preparing forages and getting them stored in perfect condition seldom happens. Spoilage is often linked to the production of moulds and a broad spectrum of mycotoxins in grains. Syndromes in domestic livestock following consumption of feed containing mycotoxins varies depending on the species of animal involved, the stage of the production cycle when it is […] Read more

Wheat heads infected with fusarium.

Researchers discover bacteria that detoxifies DON

Research: News Roundup from the June 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Researchers have discovered bacteria that convert grain vomitoxins to a non-toxic form. Vomitoxins such as deoxynivalenol (DON) are produced by fungi that infect cereal species. Grain contaminated with DON can’t be consumed by people, and can only be safely fed to livestock if levels are low. DON is also resistant to heat treatment and regular […] Read more


Ontario farmers struggle with vomitoxin in corn

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

Ontario corn growers have been dealing with vomitoxin in corn this harvest. High precipitation levels promoting Gibberella ear rot ultimately led to high DON levels in the corn. DON is a vomitoxin that can sicken livestock and levels are regulated by Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The corn can be used to […] Read more

Concerns with feeding off-grade grain

Nutrition with John McKinnon, beef cattle nutritionist

In the September issue of Cattlemen, the title of my column was “Another crazy year for growing hay.” In that column I looked at some of the trials and tribulations that hay producers faced this past summer. Looking at this year’s harvest, you can’t blame grain producers for thinking that a similar dark cloud hangs […] Read more


Mycotoxins know no bounds

DON is the No. 1 mycotoxin found in several Canadian cereal crops

Awesome turned awful as September rolled into October with its short wet days and longer wet nights downgrading many cereal crops to feed quality across the Prairies. To make matters worse, a lot of grain that did make it into the bin was infected with fusarium and to a lesser extent with ergot. The fusarium […] Read more

Canada to check India’s feed corn for aflatoxin

All feed corn coming to Canada from India is now going to be held and tested for aflatoxin, as high levels of the toxins have recently turned up in organic corn from the country. Importers of corn — organic or otherwise — from India, starting immediately, first must sample the corn, upon arrival in Canada […] Read more


An aborted calf fetus.

Why is she open?

Not all pregnancy losses are due to infection

After a cow is bred, she should calve about 283 days later. But sometimes the pregnancy is terminated early and when you go hunting for a reason you’ll discover they are many causes for a lost pregnancy. Most of the time when there’s a poor pregnancy rate in a herd we suspect infectious causes like […] Read more

Laboratories can test your grain or forage samples if you suspect mycotoxins are present in your feed.

Are mycotoxins hiding in your feed supply?

When it comes to feed quality, we usually think in terms of nutritional properties such as energy, protein or mineral content. There are, however, other feed characteristics that have an impact on quality, one of which is mycotoxin contamination. Depending on crop type, environment, location, harvest and storage management, there are a wide variety of […] Read more