It is common practice to winter young growing beef cattle on brassica crops. Brassica crops are a great source of dry matter over a period when dry matter is at a premium. Good crops may yield 6-7 tonnes of DM/ha, and, in wet areas, condensing stock onto a good crop enables valuable winter pasture to be saved while at the same time ensuring pasture renewal programmes are instigated.
Why then do some cattle not thrive while on or coming off winter brassica crops? Trace element status is a huge factor in young cattle growing well. Checking young cattle’s trace element status coming off winter crops is important for the following reasons:
So the take home message is, how well do you know how your stock is doing post winter off crops? Are they not growing to their potential despite being fed well? Blood testing for some of the key trace elements is a simple means of ensuring that young cattle have their growth potential maximised and that their feed utilisation is maximised over spring and summer. Call your Vetlife vet to discuss this further.