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Ergot Can Cause Lambing Problems

ergotSheep producers should have their grain and hay tested for ergot before feeding it to their animals. Ergot is a fungus that can form in seed heads of cereal grains, such as wheat, barley, oats, rye and triticale, and mature grasses, such as brome, timothy, quack grasses and blue grasses. Feeding ewes ergot-contaminated grain during late gestation has resulted in premature births, severe dystocia associated with a failure to dilate, and lower milk production. (Photo by Reid Redden, NDSU)

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