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Sycamore Seedling Intoxication in Horses

A study looked at pasture management options to avoid sycamore seedling intoxication in horses.
sycamore tree leaves seeds

Sycamore HGA is not reduced by spraying herbicides or mowing.

This study investigated various pasture management strategies employed to avoid hypoglycin A (HGA) intoxication in horses.

Sycamore seedlings from nine locations were either mowed (n = 6) or sprayed with a herbicide (dimethylamine‐based n = 2; picolinic acid‐based n = 1). Seedlings were analyzed for HGA concentration before intervention and at 48 hours, 1 and 2 weeks after. Cut grass in the vicinity of mowed seedlings was also analyzed prior to and 1 week after intervention. Seeds and seedlings maintained for 6 months in processed grass forage (hay and silage) were also analyzed.

There was no significant decline in HGA content in mowed or sprayed seedlings; with mowing inducing a temporary significant rise in HGA in the seedlings. HGA was still present in sycamore material after 6–8 months storage within either hay or silage.

Bottom line: Neither mowing nor herbicidal spraying reduces HGA concentration in sycamore seedlings up to 2 weeks after intervention. Pastures contaminated with sycamore material should not be used to produce processed hay or silage.

This article, "Atypical myopathy‐associated hypoglycin A toxin remains in sycamore seedlings despite mowing, herbicidal spraying or storage in hay and silage," was authored by González‐Medina, S.; Montesso, F.; Chang, Y.‐M.; Hyde, C.; and Piercy, R.J.

You can read or purchase access to this article on the Wiley online library.

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