The conditions during harvest of this year’s corn crop brought a sharp reminder of the potential issues – and even hazards – surrounding moldy feed grain. Strategies for dealing with reduced feed value and mycotoxins are hot topics right now for producers and nutritionists. But grain farmers haven’t been the only ones impacted by challenging weather; there are plenty of producers who need answers to the specific question: What about moldy hay?

Strictly speaking, every bale of hay has some mold. But when there is enough to see, is that something to worry about? There isn’t a simple answer to that question, but – depending on the type (species) of mold, amount of fungal mass (both the stringy white mycelium and the dusty spores), and class of animals being fed – there are several areas of potential concern.

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