You already know how Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee ravaged Northeast crop and pasture lands. But you may not know that health risks to animals and yourself may remain on those lands long after the floodwaters receded.
That's why Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture worked with U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies to pull together best management guidelines for forage crops and pasture. Aside of exposure to dangerous pathogens, prolonged exposure to the silt and extreme moisture predisposes the crops to mold and toxin development.
Here are a few of the best management guidelines you really need to be aware of:
Protect yourself from the harmful effects of silt dust during harvest or tillage in flooded fields. Use a dust mask (N-95 or higher) or filtered cab to avoid breathing in dust. (Note: Not all cab filters provide protection equivalent to the dust mask.)
Store flooded-damaged crops separately from the rest of your feed, and test it for toxins and pathogens before feeding it.
The best feed management practices and adequate mitigation measures minimize risk. Contaminants from potentially adulterated feed, if found in food or feed, may impact your ability to market them.
Beware of products intended to be used for or promoted to bind mycotoxins and other harmful toxins. They must be an approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a Food Additive Petition (FAP) or Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) for use in food or feed if sold for this purpose. Activated charcoal is not an approved food/feed additive and is not GRAS.