Time to move beyond Dry matter & energy to minerals in pastures? I Emily House, 5th business agri
New Zealand’s pastoral agriculture has been built on a tried and try ryegrass / clover mix, dry matter in, kg of liveweight or milk solids out.
“Sufficient energy & protein, yes, but the conversation needs to move to the impact of minerals lacking in our pastures so we can better support our animals and they will perform better,” explains Emily House, 5th Business Agri.
But an animal health nutritionist says its time to move to a feeding systems that focus beyond the basic understanding of protein and energy requirements to the untapped benefits of the minerals of phytochemicals.
As this week’s Thought Maker, Emily House, from 5th Business Agri explains:
New Zealand’s 4 to 5 pasture species mix provides the basic requriements but animals still need supplemented for magnesium, lime flower and trace elements.
By planting plantain and chicory in your sward it raises the calcium levels.
To encourage the animals to eat a diverse mix for things like anti-bacterial and anti-fungal medicinal properties that can help with worm burden for example, farmers are encouraged to try high-density grazing systems.
Animals that are stressed can have an impact on mineral metabolization, but also too if you plant pastures high in selenium it can reduces oxidative stress.
5th Business Agri collect pasture samples and analysis the nutritional information to provide recommendations of pasture species to try to boost versus mineral requirements.