The guideline for pigs state that a feed stuff should not contain more than 5 ppm of vomitoxin if it comprises no more than 20 percent of a pig's ration, and that the total diet should not exceed 1 ppm. Reports of vomitoxin have surfaced predominantly in eastern corn-growing states such as Ohio, Illinois and Indiana.
Distillers dried grains can become contaminated if the corn coming into the ethanol plant has been contaminated. All nutrients in corn are concentrated three times in the transformation to DDGs. Unfortunately, any toxins are also concentrated three times.
Merchandising firms that sell DDGs for ethanol plants say they are ramping up testing for vomitoxin, and they say there is no need for concern if DDGs are purchased from a reputable firm. There is an opportunity, however, that plants selling DDGs with elevated toxin levels will sell them at a discount. Livestock producers should consult with experts such as their nutritionist or veterinarians to make sure they could use that ingredient safely.