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Wet Weather & Vitamin Content of Forage

Farmers Weekly reports that this extremely wet year has had a detrimental effect on UK livestock. Heavy rain has flushed trace elements from our British soil, leaving forage lacking in important minerals such as zinc, cobalt, iodine, copper and iron in many areas of the UK.

Experts are reporting that as a result of this year's mineral deficient forage, livestock trace element deficiencies are going to be a widespread problem throughout next year.

A trace element deficiency can cause problems with immunity, metabolism, fertility and pregnancy. It is these problems that are thought to be contributing towards a high incidence of early lambing and calf losses.

Signs that a trace element deficiency may be present include general unthrift or poor-looking coats. By sight alone, it can be quite difficult to pinpoint specific deficiencies, as such it is highly recommended to take blood samples and test for trace element deficiencies.

For example, the concentration of vitamin D3 in forage around the UK is likely to be low, due to the past year of wet weather. Although vitamin D3 can be synthesised naturally in the skin, winter daylight hours are unlikely to allow for enough exposure to the sunlight to allow for adequate vitamin D3 synthesis. Preventing vitamin D3 deficiency is vital, as deficiency can lead to the development of osteodystrophic conditions.

Similarly, vitamin A content in forage will also be low as a result of the wet weather. Vitamin A deficiency in sheep can limit the effectiveness of the immune system as well as cause growth and development problems.

All the Farmsense drenches, which include; Nutrimax, Maxigro and Coppavit, contain sufficient vitamin D3 and vitamin A to prevent deficiencies developing, protecting your flock.

The Farmsense range of high specification drenches, including; Nutrimax, Maxigro and Coppavit are designed to balance cattle and sheep nutritional deficiencies.