Matching the right supplementation program with the available forage is the first step in maximizing stocker cattle performance. Under-supplementation decreases gain and lowers efficiency; while over-supplementation costs you profits. The importance of mineral nutrition may be one of the most unrecognized factors contributing to grazing cattle performance. Forages and grains, the common feedstuffs fed to cattle, are nutritionally incomplete. The extent to which nutrients are lacking depend on feedstuff quality and cattle nutrient needs. Forages, the foundation of grazing cattle diets, rarely, if ever, provide all the minerals required by grazing cattle. While minerals comprise only a fraction of the total amount of nutrients required by cattle, they form the nutritional foundation needed for productive cattle programs.
As stocker cattle grow, they need building blocks to support that growth along with supporting their immune system and biological systems. While protein supplementation may not always be necessary depending on the available forage, it should be a consideration when designing your supplementation program. ADM Animal Nutrition™ encourages producers to discuss these factors with their local ADM Animal Nutrition specialist or nutritionist.