Macro- and micromineral content in harvested forage for horses

Last changed: 21 September 2020
Close up of a grazing horse. Photo.

Research during the latest years has highlighted the important role that forages play in the equine feed ration. This is also pointed out in teaching as well as in extension and advisory service. However, as the forage becomes a more important and larger part of the feed ration, it is also important to consider the content of macro- and microminerals in the forage, and if the requirement of the horse can be fulfilled in entity or partly.

Generally, forages in Scandinavia are considered to be unable to fulfil the requirement of selenium, however other trace elements are considered to be present in sufficient concentrations in "normal" forage. However, these assumptions are based on old data from forages used for dairy cows, meaning that they are harvested in a much earlier plant maturity than is common for forages harvested for horses. Therefore, this study aims to find out the content and variation of both macro- and microminerals in forages, and to correlate them with different forage production factors that may influence the content of minerals.

The study is based upon forage samples and harvest information collected from 124 farms in Sweden and Norway.

Project manager:

Cecilia Müller