Home 5 Ag Stories What type of mineral should you be feeding cattle?

What type of mineral should you be feeding cattle?

Photo by Anna Hastert

Ridley Block Operations, a branch of Alltech, is encouraging cattle producers to replace inorganic trace minerals with organic trace minerals. Mark Robbins serves as director of research and nutrition services for Ridley Block Operations. Robbins says Ridley Block Operations helps farmers make this transition through a program called Blueprint®.

“Blueprint is the total replacement of inorganic with organic trace minerals. Alltech’s Bioplex is our organic trace mineral source. “It’s really two things. You can’t have one without the other,” Robbins said. “It’s putting in 100% organic and removing sulfates, oxides – inorganics. The removal of those inorganics is just as important as using organics.”

Most producers feed small amounts of organic minerals. Rarely do producers feed organic minerals at 100-percent. Yet, research suggests inorganic trace minerals might not be best.

“We have research that shows inorganic trace minerals have baggage with them that negatively impacts the animal. When you’re using copper or zinc sulfate, you’re getting a benefit from the copper and zinc. But that sulfate part has some negative effects on the animal,” Robbins said.

Robbins encourages producers to reconsider their mineral rations. He believes a couple more cents is a small price to pay for increased animal health and performance.

“We’ve seen about a 24-pound increase in weaning weight by using this. The cost of this over a more typical sulfate or oxide is only a couple of cents a day,” Robbins said. “If you look at that cost over a year, it’s not much. Then you look at – If you’re getting 25 more pounds at weaning, calves are selling for about $170 or so, you get quite a return there. You’re also going to get a return on getting more cows bred earlier. And you have better overall health, which is always going to give you better performance.”

Alltech is the first to encourage farmers to feed 100-percent organic trace minerals.

For more information on Blueprint®, visit https://go.alltech.com/blueprint.  

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