Grass trace mineral availability at critically low levels

Paul Elwood, from HVS Animal Health, is pictured out on farm with Orla Kelly, a second year CAFRE agricultural degree student.
Paul Elwood, from HVS Animal Health, is pictured out on farm with Orla Kelly, a second year CAFRE agricultural degree student.

The current spell of decent weather is encouraging livestock farmers in drier parts of the country to put lighter store cattle back out to grass. But it’s a decision that could backfire, if animals have not received the proper mineral and vitamin boost prior to turn out, writes Richard Halleron.

Paul Elwood, of HVS Animal Health, explains: “The heavy rains of the past six months have literally washed critically important trace element and vitamins out of swards. In fact, grass mineral and trace element availability is now at an historically low level.

“And this will have a detrimental effect on animal performance if farmers do not take the steps required to rectify the imbalance.”

Given this backdrop, Paul is recommending that all stock should be drenched with HVS Liquid Gold Cattle prior to turnout this year.

“It contains all of the micro trace minerals and vitamins, which stock require,” he explained.

“Significantly, the drench contains Iron, Copper, Manganese and Zinc in a wholly chelated form. Product nucleotides are also present to boost cell development.”

Trial work carried out in Northern Ireland has confirmed that cattle drenched with HVS Liquid Gold Cattle will secure an additional 20.4kg of liveweight gain than those not treated over a 100-day period. At current prices this represents an additional return of almost £30 per head.

“Yearlings require a 60ml per head dose at turnout,” Paul continued.

“One treatment is all that’s required for the entire grazing season. It is critically important for livestock farmers to ensure that their cattle make best use of grazed grass.

“But farmers must also recognise the fact that grass is not a nutritionally balanced feed source for stock, particularly during the spring months of the year. This is why it is so important to drench stock with HVS Liquid Gold Cattle prior to turn out.”

For further information, telephone HVS Animal Health on 028 4483 1700.