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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Mineral Supplementation of Beef Cows in the Western United States

Authors
item Ganskopp, David
item Bohnert, David - OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Cattlemen Producer's Library
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2002
Publication Date: November 18, 2002
Citation: GANSKOPP, D.C., BOHNERT, D.W. MINERAL SUPPLEMENTATION OF BEEF COWS IN THE WESTERN UNITED STATES. CATTLEMEN PRODUCER'S LIBRARY. 2002.

Interpretive Summary: The mineral content of prominent northern Great Basin rangeland forages and the nutritional requirement of beef cattle have not been integrated in a single document. We sampled the seasonal dynamics of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, and zinc among seven grasses and determined that with the exception of calcium, rangeland forages are mineral deficient for both dry cows and cow/calf pairs for much of the year. Consequently, producers should occasionally test their forages and formulate mineral supplements to stimulate animal gains and assure healthy immune systems among their cattle. While organic mineral sources are biologically superior supplements for cattle, their prohibitive costs typically require the use of inorganic sources. Sulfates and chlorides are similar in bioavailability and superior to carbonates which are again superior to oxides. Beef producers need to understand mineral requirements of their animals, the mineral concentration of feedstuffs, and the interaction associated with certain minerals to develop successful mineral supplementation programs.

Technical Abstract: The mineral content of prominent northern Great Basin rangeland forages and the nutritional requirement of beef cattle have not been integrated in a single document. We sampled the seasonal dynamics of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, and zinc among seven grasses and determined that with the exception of calcium, rangeland forages are mineral deficient for both dry cows and cow/calf pairs for much of the year. Consequently, producers should occasionally test their forages and formulate mineral supplements to stimulate animal gains and assure healthy immune systems among their cattle. While organic mineral sources are biologically superior supplements for cattle, their prohibitive costs typically require the use of inorganic sources. Sulfates and chlorides are similar in bioavailability and superior to carbonates which are again superior to oxides. Beef producers need to understand mineral requirements of their animals, the mineral concentration of feedstuffs, and the interaction associated with certain minerals to develop successful mineral supplementation programs.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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