November 23, 2005

New recommendations by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture’s Beef Integrated Resource Management (IRM) program are aimed at providing the most up-to-date mineral information available to beef producers.

These recommendations help beef producers across the state ensure that their cattle are getting the proper minerals in their diet. A producer can use the recommendations to check that the mineral he’s buying at the local feed supply store is meeting his needs. A producer could also check with the local supplier to see if the “UK Beef IRM” mineral is available.

In an effort to have a consistent product and to capture a volume discount, some beef groups may choose to use the recommended formulas and have companies bid on the right to supply them with these products.

There are three formula recommendations from UK – a basic cow-calf formulation, a pre- and early lactation high magnesium formula to use when conditions for grass tetany exist, and a formula containing Monensin for stocker cattle.

The formulas were developed by UK beef specialists Roy Burris and John T. Johns. To establish the dry matter intake and needs of various minerals, they began with the 2000 Update of the National Research Council’s Beef Cattle Nutrient Requirements. Next, a fescue mineral composition was established using research data from UK studies in central, western and eastern Kentucky .

Several other factors were evaluated, such as mineral digestibility and utilization, before the final formulas were completed, Burris said.

The formulations have been scrutinized and approved by UK Regulatory Services, which regulates feed content in the state, and meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approved standards for a medicated mineral product, when applicable. Only one of the formulas is medicated. Approved drug use is absolutely essential and must be maintained to ensure consumer confidence in the U.S. beef supply, he said.  

The recommendations are based on average forage analyses in Kentucky , and actual forage levels may vary, Burris said. Producers who have any concerns about the health or special needs of their herds should contact the UK Cooperative Extension Service or their veterinarian.


Writer: Laura Skillman  270-365-7541 ext. 278

Contact: Roy Burris, 270-365-7541 ext. 208