the keys to avoid cattle poisoning by sorghum

the keys to avoid cattle poisoning by sorghum

The INIA published its recommendations to avoid cattle poisoning, after the death of 70 cows in Salto.

Photo: Presidency

The death by suffocation of the 70 cows in the department of Leap raised the alert of cattle producers due to the sorghum contaminated in forages, that is why the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INIA) published the keys to address the situation.

The INIA technical report published on the accumulation of Hydrocyanic acid and/or nitrates in sorghum green forageeven in corn, after the death of 70 cows due to suffocation in the department of Leap. The animals in question were intoxicated after ingesting sorghum, and died in an approximate period of one and a half hours.

The drought and the scarcity of rain were a key factor in the generation of nitrates in the plants, causing them to be generated very high concentrations of hydrocyanic acid in green forages, even grazing at heights that oscillate between 40 and 50 centimeters. These levels of hydrocyanic can be found both in forage-type sorghums, as well as in grazed and regrowthed plants.

Tips to avoid poisoning

  • 1— Send material to the laboratory for analysis, in order to determine the hydrocyanic acid content. Forage samples should not take more than 3 to 4 hours after they are cut., since the hydrocyanic acid volatilizes and is not detected in the analyses. To determine nitrates in the plant, samples may take longer between cutting and laboratory analysis, but these must be shipped refrigerated.
  • 2 — Prior to beginning grazing of suspect forage enter only a few animals to assess their behaviorsince the presentation of toxicity of this type usually manifests rapidly.
  • 3Nitrates accumulate mainly in the stem of plantsTherefore, if these forages are not consumed very intensively, the animals will consume the leaves first, and the toxicity is likely to be lower.
  • 4 — Species that can accumulate nitrates will cease to be toxic once the 7 to 10 days after a heavy rain.
  • 5Corns can contain high concentrations of nitratesnot so for hydrocyanic acid.

Source: Ambito

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