Ranchers in North Dakota have an opportunity to ensure their beef cattle are getting the most out of their diet, through a program called “Mineral Nutrition for the Beef Cow Herd.”
The program has several stages, with the first providing basic knowledge about mineral nutrition, along with tips and tricks to help keep a close eye on their livestock’s diet.
The ranchers then send forage and water samples to Ward Laboratories to be tested. This will help experts determine what dietary changes could benefit the livestock.
Extension offices will then visit the ranches to get one-on-one time with the ranchers and help fine-tune any changes they’ve made to their livestock’s diet.
The program concludes with classes to help apply these changes in the future.
Janna Block from the NDSU REC in Hettinger said, “Many times, we kind of assume when grass is at peak production and we got green grass available, that those mineral requirements are being met. And what we’ve found over the last several years of this mineral program, is that is not the case.”
The program was introduced to North Dakota in 2018 and is expanding to Montana and Wyoming this year.