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Mineral requirements for beef and sheep

Beef and sheep need at least 15 different minerals for good health and productivity. The major elements such as calcium (Ca) and phosphorous (P) are required in relatively large amounts however trace elements are required in much smaller quantities.

The most economically important trace elements are copper (Cu), selenium (Se), cobalt (Co) and iodine (I); zinc (Zn) and manganese (Mn) deficiencies are much less important. It is important to note that other minerals can interfere with the utilisation of essential trace elements. For example, the presence of molybdenum (Mo) and sulphur (S) can precipitate a copper deficiency.

Inaccurate mineral supplementation of diets can result in reduced performance, increased disease and health problems and potentially death. It pays to get mineral nutrition right.

Many of the major health problems are the result of imbalances in mineral nutrition. Problems can result from either too high or too low a level of a particular mineral; many of the forages in diets are low in minerals.

If you have any mature, late cut silage it is likely to have low energy and protein content and its voluntary intake will be limited. It should be recognised that the mineral content of mature silage is reduced as well.

For example, phosphorus concentration declines appreciably with increasing maturity and other elements (e.g. magnesium, cobalt, copper, zinc etc) also decline, albeit not as much as phosphorus. These changes are a result of the increase in proportion of stem to leaf and the higher proportion of old to new leaves.

The NWF mineral range is formulated to complement a wide range of forages and to help overcome specific problems.

The NWF Standard Mineral Range

– Elite Dairy

– Super Dairy

– Grass/Maize Silage Balancer

– Grass/Maize Silage Balancer plus Hoof Pak

– Grass/Maize Silage Balancer plus SCC Pak

– Summer Grazing

– Dry Cow

– Cattle High Mag

– Cattle General Purpose

– Intensive Beef

Minerals are available as free access, inlcluded in a blend or supplied as buckets or blocks. NWF also supply mineral straights including limestone flour, calcined magnesite and magnesium chloride flakes.

In addition to the standard mineral range, NWF sales specialists can formulate the most cost effective mineral supplementation using results from a forage analysis using our industry leading RPM rationing programme.

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