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Major crops affected:

Corn, barley, wheat, rye

Associated Mold

Penicillium and Aspergillus

Conditions favoring production:

Little is known about the conditions that are likely to produce ochratoxin. Therefore, it is generally regarded as a toxin associated with mold growth during storage.


Ochratoxin is rapidly degraded in the rumen and thought to be of little consequence to ruminants unless consumed by pre-ruminant calves (Sreemannarayana et al., 1988). It is associated with kidney disease in pigs (Krogh, 1979).

FDA Levels:

No action, advisory, or guidance levels have been established.

Mycotoxin Concern Levela Cattleb Swineb
Ochratoxin (ppm)      
TRDM 0.25 5.0-9.0f 0.7-1.5f

a Level indicating possible favorable conditions for mycotoxins and probable need for further testing of all feeds or the TMR. Pending further tests, negative samples should be considered at concern levels in the presence of moderate symptoms and at harmful levels with marked symptoms. Limit amounts fed if moderate performance effects are present. Discontinue use at least temporarily if pronounced performance effects or acute clinical symptoms are present. Closely observe animals and continue checking for other possible causes.

b Potentially Harmful - Mycotoxins at these levels indicate probably involvement in performance effects or acute clinical symptoms. Discontinue feeding at least temporarily in the presence of either type of symptoms. Observe animals closely in the absence of symptoms and do further testing of all feeds or the TMR.

c See the text and Table 5 for important details on aflatoxins. A diet with 20-40 ppb in aflatoxin should not be fed to dairy cows to keep milk values under FDA actionary levels and to avoid health or performance effects in young animals fed milk.

e TRDM = total ration dry matter.

f Crude estimates based on relative differences in LD 50s between chickens and livestock species.


Adams, Richard S., Kenneth B. Kephart, Virginia A. Ishler, Lawrence J. Hutchinson, and Gregory W. Roth. "Mold and Mycotoxin Problems in Livestock Feeding." Dairy Cattle Nutrition (Penn State Extension). Penn State Extension, n.d. Web. 17 Sept.2013.

Krogh, P., F. Elling, C. Friis, B. Hald, A.E. Larsen, E.B. Lillehoj, A. Madsen, H.P. Mortensen, F. Rasmussen and U. Ravnoskov. 1979. Porcine nephropathy induced by long-term ingestion of ochratoxin A. Vet. Pathol. 16:466-475.

Sreemannarayana, O., A.A. Frohlich, T.G. Vitti, R.R. Marquart and D. Abramson. 1988. Studies of the tolerance and disposition of ochratoxin A in young calves. J. Animal Sci. 66:1703-1711.

For more information call Dairyland Laboratories, Inc. at 608-323-2123 or contact us here.