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Soil–plant–animal continuum in relation to macro and micro mineral status of dairy cattle in subtropical hill agro ecosystem

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The purpose of the present study was to study the soil–plant–animal continuum in subtropical hilly areas. Soil (n = 96), fodder (n = 96), and blood serum samples from dairy cattle (n = 120) were collected from eight districts of Mizoram, a hilly state in India. The samples were digested using diacid mixture (HNO3:HClO4; 10:4) and analyzed for macro (Ca, P, Mg, Na, and K) and micro (Cu, Co, Mn, Fe, and Zn) mineral concentrations. The macro and micro mineral concentrations varied among the different districts. The correlation values between fodder and cattle were significant for all the minerals studied except for P and K. The correlation value between fodder and cattle was highly significant (P < 0.01) for Ca (0.878), Mg (0.88), Cu (0.885), and Zn (0.928). However, such correlations were not observed between the mineral levels in cattle and mineral levels in soil except for Ca (0.782). Equations developed in the present study for prediction of Ca (R 2 = 0.797), Mg (R 2 = 0.777), Zn (R 2 = 0.937), Fe (R 2 = 0.861), and Cu (R 2 = 0.794) had significant R 2 values. Further, it is inferred that dairy cattle reared under smallholder production system were deficient in most of the minerals and supplementation of required minerals is essential for optimum production.

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The authors are thankful to Dr. Bijoy Chhetri and Shri. S.K. Ahmed for their help during the experiment and to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, for funding the research.

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Correspondence to A. Kumaresan.

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Kumaresan, A., Bujarbaruah, K.M., Pathak, K.A. et al. Soil–plant–animal continuum in relation to macro and micro mineral status of dairy cattle in subtropical hill agro ecosystem. Trop Anim Health Prod 42, 569–577 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-009-9459-8

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  • Smallholder dairy production
  • Mineral status
  • Soil
  • Fodder
  • Cattle