Nutrition & Agriculture

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Salt is Essential for Dairy Cow Productivity

How Much Salt?

It’s all about getting the right balance…

Balance Potassium with Salt

By choosing the right balance and application rates of Potassium and Salt for soils, pasture, supplements, and cows research shows:

  • A decrease in pasture clumping (less obvious fertility patch)
  • An increase in pasture palatability
  • Improved pasture utilisation by cows
  • Better DM degradation in the cow
  • Improved milk curve persistency by cows

Balance Nutrition by Feeding more Salt

Research shows that by balancing your cows essential mineral requirements and ratios by using more salt leads to:

  • Improved fertility
  • Minimising health (clover bloat, acidosis, grass staggers, ketosis) and hoof issues (laminitis/ lameness)
  • Increased feed intake
  • Improved milk production

Balancing Potassium and Salt Requirements

Choosing the right balance and application rates of Potassium (K) and Salt (Na) leads to improved pasture quality and productivity on the farm.

Salting soils & Pasture benefits:

  • Improved pasture quality, growth and clover %
  • Improved pasture utilisation
  • Better DM degradation
  • Improved milk curve persistency

Productivity & Health benefits:

  • Decrease in metabolics and health issues
  • Increased feed intake
  • Increased milk production
  • Improved fertility

Mineral Interrelationships

This graph shows the ideal balance for best Dry Matter intake and milk production by balancing Potassium (K) and Sodium Chloride (NaCl) intake.

Source: Adapted from Sanchez et al 1994b Meta-Analysis NRC 2001, page 120, Ref 159: Journal of Dairy Science, 1994b, 77:3096-3002.

Ideal Balance of Potassium and Salt for Dairy Cows

Feed Input Potassium to Sodium and Chloride Ratios

Potassium Content of New Zealand Pastures

This graph was created based on a Survey of 125 New Zealand pasture samples collected during one growing season.