Southern States has included the patented mycotoxin binder MTB100 in its line of Triple Crown horse feeds since February of 2000, according to Bill Vandergrift, PhD, owner of Equivision nutrition company and a consulting nutritionist for Southern States.
"The reason I did it (put the binder in last year) is because my equine clients have run into mycotoxin problems before in forages," said Vandergrift. "I was aware of the fact that forages could produce a problem. If you wait until you have the problem, it's already too late. We put the mycotoxin product in to give our customers insurance against it."
The original formula provided horses with the previously recommended dose of 10 grams per day. Since the outbreak of the foal and fetal loss syndrome, Southern States has increased the amount of MTB100 in its Triple Crown 12% and Triple Crown 30% feeds. The new formulas will give horses 30 grams of MTB100 per day.
One client who has used the Southern States product and reported no problems with fetal/foal loss or the other syndromes potentially associated with the mycotoxins in the grass is Justice Farm in Kentucky. When Vandergrift was asked whether he thought the reason Justice Farm hasn't had problems with mycotoxins is because they've been on the Triple Crown feeds, he said, "Probably so. But when you're dealing with these things, it's hard to know. You look at the circumstantial evidence, and it sure points in that direction."
Greg Justice, owner of 150-acre Justice Farm on Winchester Road in Lexington, said he really didn't know why everything was running so smoothly and he hadn't had a problem. He said he switched to the Triple Crown feeds with the mycotoxin binder about a year ago, and all of his mares this year "seem to be fine. I have mares at 40-60 days still in foal. I don't know if I've just been lucky, as far as having nice healthy foals this year. We only have one mare left to foal and she's about full term.
"A lot of people have been mowing their grass real short," added Justice. "Until today (late Friday, May 18), I knew we had a shortage in rainfall. I let my fields get kind of shaggy and long because of the drought. Icalled my brother and told him we'll start mowing Monday.
"To be honest, I have no idea (why everything has gone smoothly). I'm just kind of doing what I have been doing all along. No use to change a whole lot if things are going smooth for you."
Triple Crown feeds are available throughout the East Coast at Southern States and Agway stores.