Feed mills everywhere are testing for DON right now, Rex Newkirk says. And different livestock species have different DON tolerances.
Pigs are by far the most sensitive to DON — the limit is one ppm when formulating. Diets are about 50 per cent wheat, so often they can use wheat with up to two ppm, Newkirk says.
Other livestock are less sensitive to DON. Mills that primarily feed poultry, which can tolerate up to five ppm, will buy the higher-DON grain at a discount.
“But a lot of our feed mills in Western Canada are multi-species. So if you’re feeding pigs, chickens, and beef and dairy, you’re probably not going to take any grain that’s more than one, maybe one-and-a- half ppm, DON,” Newkirk says.
Very few feed mills have extra bins — typically just a receiving mill for wheat. Some mills might have a high-fusarium bin, “but that would be extremely rare,” says Newkirk.