Cattlemen's Day, 1992; Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station contribution; no. 92-407-S; Report of progress (Kansas State University. Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service); 651; Beef; Copper; Trace minerals; Immune function


Trace mineral nutrition is important to production efficiency and animal health. Trace mineral imbalances may be the roots of many diagnosed or undiagnosed problems in a herd. The low cost of a complete mineral analysis when compared to production losses encourages its use in the evaluation of any bovine herd in which trace mineral imbalances are suspected. A systematic gathering of information on mineral intake, antagonist intake, and serum and tissue values is necessary in order to make a diagnosis and a rational treatment decision. It is important to understand the complex interactions between minerals so that supplementation with one element does not make a complicated situation worse. Because of the many interactions between nutrients and the cost of mineral supplements, recommending use of higher levels of trace minerals in a ration or supplement without a complete diagnosis is economically and nutritionally unjustified.

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