Magnesium is an extremely important element for all stock. It is defined as a macro element, which means it is required in large quantities. Magnesium is vital for a number of different functions in the body; including relaxation of muscles and nerves, utilisation of calcium and converting sugars to energy. Magnesium is not stored well as a reserve in the body, therefore stock need their daily requirement from feed intake.
Under low magnesium uptake, hypomagnesaemia (or grass staggers) occurs which is most common at peak lactation. A heavily lactating animal requires three times as much magnesium as dry stock. Often with dairy cows you will not see the clinical signs of magnesium deficiency (muscle twitching, convulsions and death) but will suffer a drop in milk production and the cows will exhibit agitated/nervous behaviour.
Most of the soils in New Zealand have adequate levels of magnesium. However due to high levels potassium and nitrogen in pasture and the lack of magnesium fertiliser inputs, magnesium deficiency in livestock is relatively common. With the increasing awareness throughout pastoral farmers of the importance of magnesium nutrition VitaLife Magnesium has been developed. VitaLife Magnesium can supply two thirds of a dairy farms magnesium requirement if applied at 400kg/ha. As part of a well-balanced fertiliser programme, VitaLife Magnesium can help in achieving optimum production from animals in optimum health.