Professor and General Manager Southeast Colorado Research Center Colorado State University Lamar, Colorado Introduction: Sulfur is an important component of many functions in the body and is an essential nutrient for beef cattle. According to a paper from the University of Georgia the sulfur requirement is only 0.15% of intake. Like many nutrients, however, it can be consumed at excessive levels that become harmful to the animal. These projects demonstrate that PEM is only one of the outcomes of excess sulfur intake. Estimated increased milk production per cow over the following year exceeded 3 lbs per day, and was sufficient to rapidly pay off the purification system. If researchers can find an agent that binds those hydrogen ions, they hypothesize that they can reduce the production of hydrogen sulfide and reduce the effects of sulfur toxicity. Selecting the correct mineral supplement is important for maintaining healthy animals, and optimal growth and reproduction. Like many nutrients, however, it can be consumed at excessive levels that become harmful to the animal. These weeds include Canada thistle, kochia and lambsquarter. You need to weigh the options yourself and decide if it could be something that will work for you. If sulfur intake is large, excessive rumen-generated sulfide can be absorbed in sufficient quantities to result in polio. To estimate sulfur concentration relative to DMI, contributed by water: To estimate sulfur concentration relative to DMI provided by feed: Dan Gould, DVM, PhD, Professor of Pathology, CSU. Ethanol byproducts may contain a high concentration of sulfur. It can be found in every cell of the body and helps to regulate body functions. Macrominerals include, besides Sulfur, Calcium, Phosphorus, Salt (NaCl), Magnesium, and Potassium. Cattle producers have, over recent years, become well aware that high levels of sulfur molybdenum and other minerals in a cow's diet can affect her ability to absorb copper. Website Login Available Form: While there is some benefit to feeding sulfur one must also be careful. An estimate of water intake in liters for lactating cows is = 16 + (1.6 X DMI in kg) + (milk production in kg) + (1.2 X minimum daily temperature in degrees C). Sulfur is a necessary mineral that is needed in order to maintain life. Flatus that is high in sulfur-containing compounds is more odiferous than farts consisting almost exclusively of nitrogen, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide. It would provide any help and in most cases the risks outweigh any potential, if any, benefits. Research findings have clarified many aspects of how toxicity occurs, how the cattle respond to excess sulfur intake, and suggest that many dairy operations may have excess sulfur intake as well. This sulfur salt lick or block is especially recommended when feeding urea or other non-protein nitrogen compounds in ruminant diets. Daily dry matter intake = (1.85% X BW in lbs) + (0.3 X daily milk in lbs). Although the stimulus for the ILM research projects initially was PEM problems, it appears the more insidious problems are likely far more common and more important. If these are reported as sulfate (SO4), remember to divide by 3 to calculate the actual sulfur (S) content. By estimating the TSC for your herd, based on measured sulfur content of all consumed nutrients, it is possible to evaluate potential hazards. They reported lower blood pH, lower urine pH, lower blood HCO3 levels and … Often a winter problem, ringworm is most frequently seen in young animals. Sulfate salts have been used in feedlot rations as intake limiting agents to minimize the risk of overfeeding. Dairy cattle rations often include some of these high sulfur feeds. The saliva that they produce while chewing their cud can help negate the high amount of sulfur that they could be consuming. There are four basic steps to the calculation: This assessment is relatively easy, but requires careful attention to the measurements and conversions between various analyses. Non-reduced forms of sulfur such as sulfate and elemental sulfur are relatively non-toxic, whereas H2S and its various ionic forms are highly toxic substances that interfere with cellular energy metabolism and cause tissue damage. Cows fed diets (including sulfur from water) with 0.40% sulfur also have lower absorption of selenium than cows fed diets with 0.20% sulfur. Please enable scripts and reload this page. Sulfur is an essential element in body cells and in the amino acids cystine, cysteine and methionine. When all else fails you should follow the feeding instructions that is provided on the tag of the sulfur block. Sulfur Toxicity in Feedlot Cattle1 John J. Wagner, Ph.D. While putting sulfur powder has been shown to help in that area there is no, as far as I’m aware, no evidence that the block does that. This is probably due to the formation of copper sulfide and/or the thiomolybdate-copper complex. It can then be either incorporated into microbial protein or absorbed, converted to sulfate and excreted. Sulfide exists in the rumen in 2 forms. Therefore high sulfate water can represent a substantial amount of sulfur intake in these animals. Analysis of sulfur intake is required to identify this cause. The possibility of sulfur-associated PEM can be assessed by measuring the sulfur content of the water and dietary ingredients and then estimating the total sulfur intake on a dry-matter basis. Daily water intake of dairy cattle is influenced by many factors. Since the margin between desirable and maximum level is so small the possibility of sulfur toxicity is very strong. The ones that love them say that it helps with external parasite control. The maximum tolerable dietary concentration of sulfur is 0.4% of the ration on a dry matter basis. Add sulfur contributions from supplements that may not be analyzed as part of the TMR. The cow requires dietary sulfur primarily to provide adequate substrate for maximal ruminal microbial growth. Routinely use a dry mineral mixture in a walk-through foot box. Recommended dietary sulfur concentrations are 0.20% of diet dry matter for most dairy cattle (NRC 2001). Ringworm in Cattle. One of the tasks that it does is it is part of the essential amino acids that make up protein. The possibility that dairy cattle may be consuming too much sulfur has not received much attention, and so it is very reasonable that this nutritional issue can be routinely overlooked. Sulphur plays an important role in the dietary cation-anion balance of dairy cows. © Copyright 2019 by College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Since it can have a negative effect if their is a high amount of sulfur in your cow’s diet then you may need to provide some extra copper supplementation. Compared to the other minerals typically sulfur does not need to be supplemented. This assessment requires estimation of total sulfur concentration (TSC) of dry matter consumed from all sources, including the contribution made by water. This is only so that they animal can properly digest and absorb the protein. When crystallized, it is yellow. Supra Sulfa ® III Boluses (Sulfamethazine Sustained Release Boluses) are intended for oral administration to beef cattle and non-lactating dairy cattle (See Warning).Supra Sulfa ® III Boluses are indicated for the treatment of the following diseases when caused by one or more of the following pathogenic organisms sensitive to sulfamethazine: Bacterial Pneumonia and Bovine Respiratory … For cattle in general the maximum tolerable sulfur concentration has been estimated at 0.4% on a dry matter basis, and this estimate seems fairly accurate for tolerances in beef cattle in our research. Cruciferous forages, such as turnip, rape, and oilseed meals are also rich in sulfur. Substituting urea and other nonprotein nitrogen compounds for natural proteins in the diet lowers the sulfur content of a ration. Because of U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, the concentration of supplemental selenium in diets cannot be increased above 0.3 ppm, even when sulfur can interfere with selenium absorption. Too much sulfur can cause problems with fat loss, though. Assessment of sulfur (S) content of each dietary component individually will help identify those that could increase TSC, if consumed selectively. The best way to prevent this from occurring is to have the feedstuffs you will be providing tested.