THE LINK TO PERFORMANCE, EFFICIENCY & PROFIT
Providing the correct balance of nutrients is essential to optimise performance from grazing, forages and home grown feeds for dairy, beef and sheep. This is especially true for minerals where under and over supply can have a significant effect on health, fertility and production.
The role of minerals in stock well-being, has been extensively researched and documented.
The diagram shows some of the roles major minerals, trace elements & Vitamins are involved with.
Considering the key roles minerals have in livestock performance it is important to ensure the overall diet is supplying sufficient minerals at the correct levels to meet animal requirements. Forage and grazing generally have low background mineral levels, and do not meet the animals needs.
The Forage Mineral Supply graph demonstrates the % mineral supplied against requirements for a moderately yielding dairy cow on grazing/forage alone
FORAGE MINERAL SUPPLY – DAIRY CATTLE
The graph highlights mineral variability with excesses and deficiencies in these important nutrients. As well as considering mineral supply from forage, it is important to consider how minerals interact with each other, to ensure requirements are met and animal performance is supported.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MINERAL BALANCE
Mineral associations can have positive interactions, for example, calcium availability is improved in the presence of magnesium, critical at calving.Special attention should be paid to the availability and imbalance that have negative associations, in particular where excess levels of potassium, iron and molybdenum are known. This can result in significant imbalances, and if left uncorrected have the potential to cause production disease and economic loss. For example, excess molybdenum reduces the availability of copper in particular, and selenium. Resulting in poor fertility , through irregular oestrus cycling, poor heats and low conception rates.
Using protected sources of trace minerals, provides better bio-availability to the animal, overcoming the potential issues associated with antagonistic interactions and mineral “lock-up”.
FARM MINERAL AUDIT
Having a better understanding of the mineral status of your farm can be achieved with a mineral audit. Forage/ grass samples are analyised for mineral levels including iron, potassium and molybdenum. Collating all information on feeds used, all other sources of minerals, such as boluses, forms a picture of mineral supply & potential interference from antagonists, and the best solution reached for stock to reach their full potential.
Carr’s Billington offer a bespoke mineral audit service for your livestock & farm. From the known mineral forage status, diets and other sources of minerals we can formulate and recommend your own balanced mineral for your stock to perform to their potential and optimise profitability.
RESTORE, REPLENISH, RENEW.
Get in touch with your Carr’s Billington Advisor to arrange your mineral audit.