System Type: 3
Last Update:
07 June 2019

DairyNZ Comment:

07 Jun 2019
  • Nitrate poisoning has occurred on some farms in the last few weeks on new as well as old pasture. This occurs due to high nitrate in the diet preventing the blood from carrying oxygen. Symptoms include staggering as if drunk (lack of oxygen to the brain), muscle tremors, rapid breathing, frothing at the mouth, bluish/brown colour of mucus membranes and death.

    Risk is highest on newly sown pastures and crops, and when there is late autumn N use. Specific weather and soil conditions that are not well understood contribute. 

    Reduce the risk by testing at risk feed, regular checking of animals for the first 2 hours on a new break, feed hay or silage in the morning before giving a fresh break on risky pastures in the afternoon. If you are going away avoid feeding risky feed and leaving it up to less experienced staff to manage.

    If you see symptoms call the vet immediately.

    For more information see


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  • Date Collected

    07 Jun 2019

  • Soil temp


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  • MJME