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50 grazing cows fatally poisoned by sorghum

Cereal grain crop turns deadly due to drought

(ANSA) - ROME, AUG 8 - Some 50 cows were poisoned to death by sorghum while grazing on the popular cereal crop near Cuneo at the weekend, sources said Monday.
    The cereal, due to Italy's current severe drought, developed certain toxins and turned into a poison, they said.
    The incident happened at a farm owned by cattle rearer Giacomino Olivero, who raises the Piemontese breed at Sommariva Bosco.
    Olivero took his herd to a grazing ground not far from their stables when they took ill and died.
    "It was heart-breaking," he told La Stampa.
    "I saw the cows start fighting for breath, and then dying".
    Sorghum is a type of grass containing a cereal grain, much like wheat, oats, or barley.
    The Cuneo branch of Italian farm group Coldiretti urged farmers not to be alarmed saying it was an "extremely rare case" but added that other instances could not be ruled out as Italy's drought, the worst in 70 years, worsens amid fresh heat waves.


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