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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Understanding and Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Poisonous Plants on Livestock Production Systems

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Early season grazing by cattle of waxy larkspur (Delphinium glaucescens) in Central Idaho

Authors
item Pfister, James
item Cook, Daniel
item Gardner, Dale
item Baker, Sarah -

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 12, 2013
Publication Date: August 30, 2013
Citation: Pfister, J.A., Cook, D., Gardner, D.R., Baker, S.D. 2013. Early season grazing by cattle of waxy larkspur (Delphinium glaucescens) in Central Idaho. Rangelands. 35(4):2-5.

Interpretive Summary: Toxic larkspurs (Delphinium spp.) in western North America are abundant native plants on foothill and mountain rangelands. Previous analysis for toxic alkaloids in waxy larkspur indicated that this plant was highly toxic. However, no information on cattle grazing of waxy larkspur was available. We conducted a grazing study in spring, 2012 near Challis, Idaho, and found that cattle consumed sufficient quantities of waxy larkspur to become poisoned. The risk of death losses by cattle is particularly high because of the very high concentrations of alkaloids in young waxy larkspur plants.

Technical Abstract: Toxic larkspurs (Delphinium spp.) in western North America are abundant native plants on foothill and mountain rangelands. Previous analysis for toxic alkaloids in waxy larkspur indicated that this plant was highly toxic. However, no information on cattle grazing of waxy larkspur was available. We conducted a grazing study in spring, 2012 near Challis, Idaho, and found that cattle consumed sufficient quantities of waxy larkspur to become poisoned. The risk of death losses by cattle is particularly high because of the very high concentrations of alkaloids in young waxy larkspur plants.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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