Getting the S’s right – selenium and sulphur


FOR livestock producers, protein intake and herd fertility are key for driving income levels. However, the costs of supplementing forage which is low in protein and selenium can quickly add up. Getting the S’s right – selenium and sulphur – ensures greater results without driving up production costs.

If silage falls short of necessary protein levels, then purchased protein will have to be used to supplement the shortfall. Sulphur, despite being frequently overlooked during springtime, is a vital nutrient for higher protein levels in silage. Higher quality grass with higher protein levels negate the need for supplements and drive down production costs.

Selenium deficiency is also a common problem in animal health, with over 90 per cent of grass samples below required levels. A fertiliser with selenium and sulphur fortifies the grass, removing the need to supplement with inorganic selenium in the form of boluses or mineral licks.

“Sulphur and selenium – the two S’s – often go overlooked but can drive real value in your silage,” says Philip Cosgrave, Country Grassland Agronomist at Yara. “Don’t overlook it – sulphur plays a key role in the efficient use of nitrogen driving yields and quality.

“If your forage has enough selenium, you don’t need to supplement, especially when grass makes up a high proportion of the animal’s diet. It’s a simple change, which will achieve real financial benefits.”


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