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Could you make better use of minerals?

Minerals are essential to support healthy, productive animals and play a crucial role in many biological functions. They are needed for animal maintenance and to support, milk production, health and fertility.

Just as for energy or protein, effective mineral nutrition is all about balance, ensuring minerals are supplied in line with the animal’s requirements. However, in many cases that is where the similarity ends on farm.

The Downland range of minerals incorporates a broad range of farm minerals for specific needs and situations.

While diets are usually carefully formulated for energy and protein, mineral levels may receive less detailed scrutiny. Farmers know the consequence of feeding an incorrect level of energy. Too little and animals won’t perform, too much and margins will suffer. Great strides will be taken to get energy levels right to maximise performance and margins. Far less precision is often applied to mineral nutrition. For example, few farmers have a regular forage mineral analysis carried out, yet forage will be over 50% of the dietary dry matter and can contribute a significant proportion of minerals.

Mineral Requirements

The major minerals including calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), and magnesium (Mg) are required in quantities of grammes per day while trace elements, such as copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), selenium (Se) and iodine (I), and vitamins, are needed in quantities of only milligrammes (mg) per day. In all cases, however big or small, it is important that requirements are met and excesses avoided, in order to achieve performance targets.

28th June 2019

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