BROOKINGS, S.D. - North and South Dakota livestock producers are encouraged to participate in the Cattle Mineral Nutrition for Producers program co-hosted by SDSU Extension and NDSU Extension.
Launched in 2017, the Cattle Mineral Nutrition for Producers program is designed to help livestock operations gain a clear understanding of their herd's mineral needs and how to make significant changes, if necessary, to improve herd performance.
"Participants who took full advantage of the program last year were able to make changes to their mineral program to improve the overall health of their cattle," said Adele Harty, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist. "A balanced mineral nutrition program is key to optimizing cattle health and reproduction. If there is an imbalance or deficiency cattle may not perform as desired."
Cattle Mineral Nutrition for Producers is an intense program and class size is limited to 30 operations; 15 in each state.
Registration will be open until May 21, 2018 or until all tickets are sold out.
The dates and locations for the first classes are below:
Dickinson, North Dakota training will be held May 24, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (MDT) at the Dickinson Research Extension Center Ranch Headquarters near Manning (11090 15th ST SW Manning, ND 58642).
Lowry, South Dakota training will be held May 25, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CDT) at Rock Hills Ranch near Lowry (30872 143rd Street Lowry, SD 57472).
Due to the nature of the program, we encourage two people to participate per operation. To help cover expenses, registration is provided at a reduced rate of $150 per operation thanks to the following sponsors:
- Gold sponsors: Micronutrients (a Nutreco Company) and CHS Nutrition
- Silver sponsors: South Dakota Grassland Coalition and Ward Laboratories, Inc.
This investment provides participants with materials, one free forage mineral analysis, a ranch visit, and lunch at both trainings.
What to expect
The program consists of a one-day training in May, followed by sample collection and ranch visits during the summer and a final, one-day training this coming fall.
During the first class, participants can expect the following:
- Learn the basics of mineral nutrition and mineral delivery options;
- Determine how animal grazing behavior can affect mineral intake;
- Receive training on proper forage, feed and water sampling techniques; and
- Learn about tools to monitor mineral consumption.
The May session will equip producers to evaluate their current mineral program to determine if it is meeting their herd's nutritional needs or if modifications are needed.
Tools will be provided to monitor mineral consumption throughout the summer to determine whether cattle are consuming mineral at the appropriate level.
Presenters will also provide some tips and tricks to help with consumption challenges.
Throughout the summer, SDSU and NDSU Extension personnel will conduct ranch visits to focus on specific needs of each producer.
During the fall session, participants will gain an understanding of applied components of mineral nutrition. These include; interpreting and utilizing forage analysis, reading a mineral tag, understanding mineral sources (i.e. inorganic, organic, and hydroxy), and determining how the mineral can meet the cow's requirements.
Professionals in the field and producers who have established mineral programs, will share the impact balanced mineral programs have had on animal health and operation finances.