Selenium is an essential nutrient for animal health but not for crops, yet applying selenium to grassland via fortified fertilisers raises the selenium levels in forage and avoids all the costs of unhealthy livestock.
Healthier livestock means improved performance
Grazing animals have different requirements for micronutrients to those that are required for grass growth so it is important to ensure sufficient are present in the grass to meet the animals' needs as well as the grass.
Selenium is an essential trace element for all animals and humans.
Selenium deficiency occurs at herbage concentrations below 0.1 mg/kg DM and results indicate that up to 88% of herbage samples are deficient.
Deficiency in livestock causes still birth and retention of afterbirth in livestock, increased milk cell count and increased levels of clinical mastitis.
In calves, deficiency is associated with “white muscle disease” (nutritional myopathies).
In lambs and calves under six months, local myopathies may involve skeletal or cardiac muscle.
Increased selenium in blood of sheep resulted in a significant increase in live weight gain and wool production.
Applying selenium in grassland fertiliser increases selenium uptake by the grass and therefore increases the availability of selenium to animals.
Trials have shown selenium fertiliser applied in a single application in April resulted in a significant increase in selenium concentration in grass/silage with subsequent increased blood levels for the duration of the season. There was some fall off in herbage concentration over the season indicating the wisdom of repeated applications of selenium with a fertiliser from the Booster Range.
In mildly selenium deficient soils, repeated applications will lead to an improvement in the general overall health and well-being of the animal.
See what some UK and Irish farmers have to say about Yara's booster fertilisers
The following 'Booster' fertilisers all contain sodium selenate as a source of selenium for increased animal health while at the same time supplying nitrogen, phosphate, potash and sulphur in various combinations and ratios, suitable for different grassland applications.
The latest grassland fertilser and nutrition advice from the Yara agronomists.