Moulds and shelf-life Moulds and shelf-life




Moulds and shelf-life

Moulds consume valuable nutrients in raw materials and feed and, if allowed to proliferate in high numbers, can rapidly decrease the quality and nutritional value for animals. Additionally, mycotoxins produced by moulds may have an additional negative impact on animal performance. To ensure high-quality raw materials, an effective strategy is needed to combat the negative effects of mould growth.

How to recognise

Multiple factors influence the growth of moulds, including transport and long-term storage in silos or other storage facilities. An optimal environment for mould growth is created by natural temperature fluctuations throughout the day and night, causing moisture from grains to evaporate and condense on the walls and ceilings of the storage facility, as well as on the top layer of the feed. In addition, moulds destabilise the raw materials and increase the temperature inside the silo or storage facility, allowing other potentially harmful microorganisms to proliferate. Moulds can also produce mycotoxins, which may negatively impact animal health.

The impact on the farmer

Moulds consume nutrients, reducing the nutritional value and palatability of raw materials. On average 6 to 7% of nutritional value is lost for materials such as corn, wheat, and barley. Numbers can vary depending on factors that include: type of material, climate zone, and presence of residual material such as chaff in the storage facility.

Raw material traders, crushers and feed processors should plan and implement a strategy to prevent economic loss by preserving nutrients and maintaining stable quality and palatability of raw materials.

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