Optimal mineral nutrition is required for cattle reproduction, immune function, and structural development. Formal evaluation of the current mineral status of California beef cattle is currently lacking. In 2017, a survey was initiated that evaluated a panel of 10 different minerals in 14 counties across California. Samples were collected from 555 cattle at 50 different ranches. Region of the state significantly affected herd mineral status. Herd use of supplements was also significant, and increased most blood levels of the mineral(s) targeted for supplementation. Forage source was idiosyncratic on its effect of mineral status. Previous blood survey data showed selenium to be widely deficient in California cattle in the 1970s and 1980s, but in this case, it was generally adequate in all areas of California. This indicates a good producer understanding of where supplementation is needed. Copper deficiency was more widespread in the southern region when compared with further north. Zinc deficiency was seen ubiquitously statewide, with 36% of animals being deficient. Manganese has been largely ignored in California. This study is the first known documentation of manganese levels in the state. Sampling found 92% of cattle fell below critical manganese levels. However, further research to better define manganese critical levels is probably warranted. The status of other minerals is presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology