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SCHMIDT: Cattle Mineral Nutrition for Producers program open
May 3, 2019

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North Dakota State University and South Dakota State University Extension are collaborating to bring a cattle mineral nutrition program to producers in both states.

Participants will increase their knowledge of mineral nutrition and gather information on their own operations to improve overall health and performance of their cattle. The program consists of a one-day training in May, followed by sample collection and ranch visits during the summer, and a final one-day training in October.

During the first session, participants will:

* receive an overview of options for mineral delivery

* learn the basics of mineral nutrition

* determine how animal grazing behavior can affect mineral intake

* receive training on proper forage, feed and water sampling techniques

* learn about tools to monitor mineral consumption.

The May sessions provide baseline knowledge for producers to begin evaluating their current mineral programs to determine whether they are meeting their herds' nutritional needs or if modifications are necessary.

Tools will be provided to monitor mineral consumption throughout the summer to determine whether cattle are consuming mineral at the appropriate level. Presenters will provide tips and tricks to help with consumption challenges. In addition, participants learn hands-on sample collection to collect samples on their own operations for mineral analysis throughout the summer. During the summer, SDSU and NDSU Extension personnel will conduct ranch visits to focus on specific needs of each producer.

At the final session in the fall, applied components of mineral nutrition will be presented. These include:

* interpreting and utilizing forage analysis

* reading a mineral tag

* understanding mineral sources (i.e., inorganic, organic and hydroxy)

* determining how the mineral can meet the cow's requirements.

Additionally, professionals in the field and producers who have established mineral programs will share how they developed their programs, what it has done for them, and why it is important from an animal health and financial perspective.

Class size is limited to 30 operations for this intense program with 15 from each state. The first sessions are:

* Tuesday, May 14, 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. CDT at the USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Lab, Bridge Conference Center, 1701 10th Ave. SW, Mandan, N.D.

* Tuesday, May 21, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. MDT at Fall River County Extension Office in Hot Springs, S.D.

It is encouraged that two people per operation participate. Registration is $150 per operation, and this investment provides materials, one forage mineral analysis, a ranch visit and lunches.

Contact your local NDSU Extension office for registration details.

Schmidt is the NDSU Extension agent for Pierce County.

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