The Power of Selenium – download full version on pdf
Adequate Selenium is Essential for the health and well-being of your livestock plus you, me and our families.
The amounts of selenium required are very small but it is essential that every living creature gets some every day. In the last few years we have been analysing soils and forage for this mineral and generally the levels bhave been low, very low and sometimes absent altogether. You might have some in your soil but it will not be ‘available’ to your plants unless other elements are in balance.
Unfortunately too many soils are NOT in balance and regular use of N P and K fertilisers plus large doses of slurry in some areas has meant poor soil fertility. The problem is that the fertiliser companies measure soil fertility by the amounts of potassium, phosphate, magnesium and pH in the soil; however, this is part of the chemistry in the soil and a healthy plant needs up to 20 different elements; the livestock and humans need more than that, so although an element is not needed strictly for the plant to grow, it IS needed by who or what is going to eat it.
For years scientists said that a plant requires 15, then 16, then 17, now 20 elements; the fact is that for your grass to be healthy and sustain healthy stock, it needs more like 40 – 50 different minerals including an adequate amount of selenium. In sheep, a deficiency of selenium directly causes ‘White muscle disease’ – so called because of the calcium deposits on the muscle making it look white.
White muscle disease in sheep, caused by low levels of selenium.
NB: Abridged version only, for full information please download pdf above.