Production of Aflatoxin in a High Moisture Maize Silo in Minnesota

  • Richard A. Meronuck
  • Steven P. Swanson
Part of the Biodeterioration Research book series (BIOR, volume 4)


Mycotoxicosis resembling aflatoxicosis in dairy cattle has been known for some time. Sipple et al. (1953) reported that cows eating moldy maize rations were depressed, off-feed, and had diarrhea containing blood. A necropsy of one of the afflicted cows revealed an enlarged liver spotted with light yellow areas. Loosmore and Markson (1961) reported that after consuming aflatoxincontaminated peanut meal for 3–4 months, dairy cows lost their appetite and suffered reduced milk yield, especially after calving. Loosmore et al. (1964) found that cows fed aflatoxin-contaminated cottonseed meal went off-feed resulting in milk production decreases of 25 to 50% after 3–4 weeks. When the aflatoxin-contaminated cottonseed was removed from the ration, the cows were back to normal in a week. The cattle most severely affected were those which had calved 4–6 months, previously. Gopal et al. (1968) reported that peanut meal associated with deaths in a dairy herd was found to contain aflatoxin. Clinical signs included: anorexia, apathy, corneal opacity, intermittent diarrhea, and reduction or absence of milk yield. According to Guthrie (1979), cows fed aflatoxin-contaminated maize showed the following signs: diarrhea; acute mastitis; metritis; respiratory disorders; erratic milk production; abortions; hair loss; depressed appetite; and unthrifty appearance.


Milk Yield Dairy Cattle Dairy Herd Corneal Opacity Peanut Meal 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Meronuck
    • 1
  • Steven P. Swanson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant Pathology, College of AgricultureUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA
  2. 2.Department of Drug MetabolismEli Lilly and Co.IndianapolisUSA

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