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Vomitoxin (DON)

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Major crops affected:

Cereal grains and their corresponding silages.

Associated mold:


Conditions favoring production:

Rain and warm weather from flowering to harvest in corn and small grains. Low temperatures following infection may increase DON production by Fusarium molds. DON is also associated with Gibberella ear rot.


Swine-Feed refusals, reduced growth, weight loss, sometimes diarrhea starting at 0.6-1.0 ppm in total ration dry matter. Vomiting usually at 15 ppm or above. (Adams, 2013)

Dairy-Off-feed, ketosis, displaced abomasum, pronounced milk decrease, sometimes diarrhea at 1.5-2.5 ppm in total ration dry matter or possibly lower. (Adams, 2013) Generally associated with poor performance in dairy herds (Whitelow et at., 1994)

FDA Guidance Levels

Class of Animal Feed & Portion of the Diet DON Levels in Grains & Grain By-products and (finished feed)
Ruminating beef and feedlot cattle older than 4 months Grain and grain by-products not to exceed 50% of the diet 10 ppm (5 ppm)
Chickens Grain and grain byproducts not to exceed 50% of the diet 10 ppm (5 ppm)
Swine Grain and grain by-products not to exceed 20% of the diet 5 ppm (1 ppm)
All other animals Grain and grain by-products not to exceed 40% of the diet 5 ppm (2ppm)


Whitlow, L.W., R.L. Nebel, and W.M. Hagler, Jr. 1994. The association of deoxynivalenol in grain with milk production loss in dairy cows. Pp. 131 139. In: G.C. Llewellyn, W.V. Dashek and C.E. O’Rear, (eds.), Biodeterioration Research 4. Plenum Press, New York.

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.

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