Tuesday, February 21, 2017
On 1March the British Grassland Society (BGS) is holding its first Winter Meeting in several years at the Abbey Hotel, Malvern. It will bring together scientists, technical specialists and practitioners to discuss the function and management of trace elements in ruminant production systems.
Entitled “Closing the Circle – Trace Elements in the Soil, Plant and Animal”, speakers include specialists from academic, commercial and veterinary professions.
The return of the BGS Winter Meeting addresses demand across the industry for increased and better knowledge-sharing in formats where information can be harnessed to lead to real improvements in practice.
The meeting is being organised in partnership with the British Society of Animal Science (BSAS) and British Society of Soil Science (BSSS).
Closing the Circle
There is growing awareness that the role of trace elements, in particular micronutrients, has potentially been under-emphasised in terms of optimising animal production systems.
Soil is the primary source of micronutrients to plants and animals, but whilst measurement, budgeting and fertilisation for macronutrients, such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, sulphur and magnesium is commonplace, such attention is rarely given to micronutrients.
In forage-based systems, where most fodder is homegrown, an understanding of local geochemistry and the trace elements supplied through the soil is especially important, as fewer elements are imported within feeds sourced from different geologies.
The flip side of ensuring adequate supply of micronutrients is that some trace elements can also accumulate to toxic levels. In recent years, researchers have raised concerns that methods of animal mineral supplementation employed on UK farms are leading to trace element levels many times greater than recommended limits. Over-supplying minerals is ultimately a wasted cost to farmers, and can have a negative environmental impact.
The Winter Meeting will present and allow discussion of the key issues as well as exploring possible management strategies and solutions needed for UK farmers.
The event is open to members and non-members. Members of BGS, BSAS and BSSS receive a discount on the attendance fee. Book online at www.britishgrassland.com.
For more information please see the BGS website or contact the BGS office, as follows:
Telephone 01270 616464