drought, high nitrate feed, feeding programs, cattle
Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
When drought hits and feed is short, producers wonder if they can provide high nitrate feeds to their cattle. The answer is “Yes, if you know what you’re doing.” Nitrates can be very dangerous to cattle, causing reduced performance, abortions, and death. Know the toxicity symptoms and toxic levels of nitrates before using high nitrate feedstuffs in your feeding program. Refer to SDSU Extension Extra 4015 (Nitrate Poisoning of Livestock) for specifics regarding nitrate poisoning and guidelines for safe nitrate levels in animal diets. While nitrates feeds are dangerous to cattle, they can be fed if properly managed. Toxic effects of nitrates are related to amount and rate of ingestion of the nitrate ion.
Patterson, Trey, "Incorporating High Nitrate Feed Into Feeding Programs" (2002). SDSU Extension Extra Archives. 59.