Altum Nutrition - Micromax makes a difference

By: Summit Quinphos  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Cows, Animal Nutrition, Selenium

The Harley Ogle-Gane family partnership farms 220 cows in South Taranaki. Mastitis has been a big problem over the years, and each year they have to cull about 10 cows that have severe mastitis that does not respond to treatment. This has a significant effect on the farm's profitability - not only do they lose potential production, but they also have the expense of unwanted animal health bills.

Harley noted that they were forever 'chasing numbers', unable to pursue a good replacement policy, and therefore needed to retain cows with high cell counts that they would rather have culled. In addition, their somatic cell counts were high, typically averaging over 210,000.

The family also runs a piggery, and it had been suggested to them that the cause of the mastitis was the pig effluent that they spread on their pasture. Seeking another opinion, Harley contacted Jackie Aveling, the animal nutrition manager for Altum.

'I examined Harley's whole farm system carefully, took soil and herbage tests and looked at his herd's blood test results.

'The trace element status in the pasture was very much in line with other results we see in the Taranaki. Two key elements were deficient - zinc and selenium.

'Zinc is essential for skin health, and is needed for keratin plug formation over the winter dry period. It also helps the body to defend against bacterial attacks. Selenium has many functions, and is important in the immune system.

'I recommended he use Taranaki Micromax Plus, starting immediately and carrying on through to dry off, starting again a month before calving.'

After taking up Jackie's advice, Harley reported a big reduction in mastitis cases. In addition, he somatic cell counts soon fell to an average of 160,000, a 25 per cent reduction. He also noticed a reduction in the number of lame cows.

'I used to have a vet at least once a month,' says Harley, 'but the cows' feet are awesome now. I haven't had a vet on the farm for ages.'

At the end of August Harley had blood selenium tests carried out on eight cows. Three were cows that had been in the main mob and had received Micromax Plus from 1 July. They calved on 25 July. Three were heifers that had never received Micromax Plus. The other two cows had received Micromax Plus before dry off, but had not had any access since then. These two cows had been induced.

The three treated cows had significantly higher selenium levels than the heifers or induced cows.

The treated cows had an average blood selenium of 770 nmol/litre. The induced cows had an average of 280 nm/litre and the heifers had an average of 220 nmol/litre.

Keywords: Animal Nutrition, Blood Test, Cows, Selenium

Contact Summit Quinphos

Email - none provided

Print this page

Other products and services from Summit Quinphos


Altum Nutrition - Optimax meets needs

The targeted nature of Micromax was the big selling point for Kees and Elly Oostveen when they started looking at using the mineral supplement the first year it was released. Our Altum sales consultant looked at our herbage test results and asked us for blood test and liver function results for our cows. We were attracted because of the science behind the product,' explains Kees, 'and because they formulate it for every region.


Altum Nutrition - Crystalyx Forage Plus

Rising two-year cross-bred heifers – representative of typical dairy stock - that received ad lib access to Crystalyx Forage Plus for 23 weeks, showed significantly higher conception rates and slightly earlier dates of conception than the control heifers, which did not receive Crystalyx.


Altum Nutrition - PhaSed N the answer

They run 850 cows on medium-light volcanic ash soils on the Rangitikei Plains near Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty, and strive each year to have enough feed on hand to last the dry summer months. In 2007 they switched from standard urea to StrategeN and SustaiN, and soon built up a strong working relationship with Altum consultants.