Feeds for Beef Cows Should Be Tested for Nitrates

US - With the hay shortage predicted to exceed 250,000 tons this year, many beef cattle producers have turned to alternative feed sources they might not be familiar with. Producers have reported being satisfied with the feed they’ve been able to obtain, but rumors of nitrate poisoning have caused alarm in some counties.
calendar icon 1 November 2007
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So far, these rumors have not been substantiated, but Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler wants to remind producers that having feed tested for quality is especially important this year because of the drought.

“For the past few months, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and N.C. Cooperative Extension have coordinated educational sessions about the use of dried corn stalks and leaves as feed,” Troxler said. “Large quantities have been harvested for use during the coming winter, and cattlemen have been surprised at how well the cows consume this material, commonly known as stover.”

“To my knowledge, we have not had any problems with herds that have been on a corn stalk diet,” said Jeff Carpenter, area livestock agent for Catawba, Gaston and Lincoln counties. “One farmer did lose a mature cow, but the NCDA&CS diagnostic lab determined that it did not die of nitrate poisoning.”

Source: Leland Tribune
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