Mycocheck is designed for use in the UK market, specifically for the analysis of mycotoxins in animal feed and bedding material such as straw. The app identifies 12 mycotoxins in forage, grains, straw, and livestock feeds, said the partners.
Robert Furmage, analytical manager, Volac, said that while the dangers of mycotoxins are well established, identifying them early enough to be able to act has been an issue.
Common symptoms of mycotoxin ingestion include lower yields, rough coats, listless activity, inconsistent feed intakes, variable manure consistency and the presence of mucus tags – pieces of gut wall – in the manure.
Dr Derek Mcllmoyle, regional commercial director, GB & Ireland and technical director, ruminants EMEA at AB Vista, said the threat from mycotoxin contamination of feeds and bedding is unlikely to disappear any time soon without significant interventions.
In terms of what the app allows, he told FeedNavigator: “The Mycocheck app can help dairy farmers reduce the occurrence and impact of mycotoxins in animal bedding and feed by raising awareness of the overall risk the toxins pose to livestock productivity and health, as well as providing farmers with more detailed information on each specific risk factor. A farmer using the app will be able to identify and assess the situation on their farm – and whether there is a low, medium, or high risk from mycotoxins – and use that information to guide their decisions on what further action to take.”
The tool can also be used for swine production, to identify and assess potential risks from mycotoxins at an individual farm level, and consequently guide farmers on what next steps may be required to mitigate those risks, added the AB Vista representative.