Trace Element Testing
Trace elements, particularly copper, cobalt and selenium, are essential for optimum growth, fertility and immunity. Production losses can occur in our region due to the high rainfall patterns and our acidic soils, which are also naturally deficient in several trace elements. Other farming practices such as lime, nitrogen and heavy fertiliser application can further contribute to deficiencies by either binding certain trace elements, or by making them less available for uptake. Deficiencies range in severity from being undetectable visually, through to poor performance or even death. While the latter is extreme and is uncommon, “subclinical” deficiencies are common – they may be hard to detect visually, however they can have subtle effects on production which amounts to a large decrease in profitability across the whole herd. There are several ways to supplement trace elements and there are many products available to producers to choose from. Some products are better than others, and many well marketed products are not always suitable. Products are also expensive when given unnecessarily, so it is important to know where your trace element levels are at. This can easily be measured through samples collected from your livestock. Plants and soil samples alone are not a reliable indicator of how well your livestock are supplemented. One shoe does not fit all when it comes to choosing the right product for your production system, and so we are happy to work with you to implement an effective supplementation and monitoring program.