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It’s Not A Game

Dr. John Doerr, Ph.D., PAS, Dpl. ACAP - Vice President, Science and Technology - Agrarian Solutions

But, let’s play a game anyway.  After nature threw all of her weather weapons at you, I’m hoping you have been able to cut corn for silage already and aren’t staring at potential early frost (or worse).  Of course, you know the season was not ideal; very recent estimates tell us that both the total crop yields for corn and soybean will be the lowest in 10 years, and the quality of those yields will also be less impressive than we’ve been expecting or experiencing.  It is imperative you get a good handle on the feeding quality of what you’ve just ensiled.  Apart from nutrients, oxygen stability, etc. a mycotoxin test is a necessary next step.  

Now, here’s the game: the chart below gives important decision factors for each of 5 laboratories qualified to do good mycotoxin testing.  The selection criteria were that state-of-the-art methods are used, turn-around time is 4-7 days, lab is fully certified, and the test run covers at least 12 mycotoxins.  These are real companies (details available on request):

Toxin Testing Prices

And keep in mind a good assessment will likely entail sampling silage, HMC, cottonseed, etc.; e.g., you’re submitting more than one sample.  So, which lab did you pick?  Duh!

Let me give you a clue...Company E is Activation Laboratories. Actlabs, in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada, is our partner in providing technologically advanced mycotoxin analyses. Actlabs is a global enterprise certified under ISO 9001 and 9002 specifications. They are credentialed under various Canadian agencies and are FDA approved.  Analyses are done with high performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS). And no result is released until a trained technician carefully reviews each chromatogram for various parameters.  This method gives excellent sensitivity and accuracy, and permits determination of chemically related toxins within the sample.  In each sample, 17 mycotoxins are analyzed and reports are optimized for best use by the client, including estimates of degree of severity of the concentration(s) found. 

True, ActLabs does not create those severity estimates; rather, they are provided by Agrarian Solutions and they are not just random numbers.  Every 2-3 years Agrarian staff review recent research on mycotoxins, field cases, and our own database of more than1,200 analyses per year.  We look for reports where one or more specific symptoms were reported in cows associated with a given test.  It may not be perfect, but it does reflect what the mycotoxin levels are that are associated with adverse performance in current-genetics cows.

Here’s a summary of results for the first eight months of this year: 

Rules for this testing service are simple.  We’ll give potential customers a couple of tests to determine what their needs might be.  If they then begin to use one the Agrarian cow products into their feeding program, they’ll continue to get the free service.  Current customers already know they can rely on and use this service.  Want more?  Contact your Select Sires salesman or AI tech or get in touch with an Agrarian Solutions representative.  Don’t play games! Be aware of what’s in front of your cows at feeding time.

Most common mycotoxins