Mineral assessment tool helps fertility, mastitis and lameness

A new mineral assessment tool at the Dairy Event 2010 could help dairy farmers make the right decision when it comes to what minerals to feed, which in turn could effect fertility, mastitis and lameness.

That’s according to Alltech’s Graeme Smith, who explained how the Minerva programme could help assure farmers they are combating the “big three” problems that can arise on every dairy farm – fertility, mastitis and lameness.

Minerva requires forage and feed samples to be taken to get a background trace element status. From this information it is calculated what minerals are required. “At a cost of about £20 for every analysis, which we advice people to have done at the start of every feeding season, it could be easily paid off by the increase in production.”

From this analysis a personalised bag of minerals can then be purchased. “An off the shelf product may cost £400-500/t whereas as a personalised bag would cost £600-700/t. This is obviously more expensive but the benefits in terms of increased production and the fact you may have to feed smaller quantities because it is personalised means it pays for itself.”