MAG-NET is an exciting five-year project aiming to develop novel, resilient, nutrient management strategies for the UK ruminant sector. The primary nutritional focus is magnesium (Mg) due to its strategic importance to the ruminant sector. However, new data, knowledge and communication tools arising from this project will apply to other nutrients / elements, thereby supporting more resilient production systems and improving our wider understanding of landscape-scale processes.

Our research

Magnesium (Mg) plays an important role in many basic processes in living cells, and is therefore essential for animal health.  Low Mg status (hyomagnesaemia) gives rise to conditions called tetany, or staggers, in ruminants like cattle and sheep. These conditions are remarkably widespread among ruminants in Europe, often with high fatality rates. Avolding hypomagnesaemia is therefore important for animal welfare and farm business profitability. Typically the condition is managed by use of feed mixes or dietary supplements or by directly administering Mg to animals as a medicine. However, these approaches are costly and can be inefficient and ineffective. Another approach is to ensure that the grass grazed by animals in the field or eaten as hay or silage provides a good source of Mg. This approach is under-developed in UK agriculture, as is forage fertiliser management.

We aim to develop novel and resilient nutrient management strategies for Mg in the UK ruminant sectors. The primary nutritional focus of this project is Mg due to its strategic importance to the UK ruminant sector. However, new data, knowledge and management and communication tools arising from this project will apply to other nutrients/elements which are important for animal health. The project will therefore have wider potential to make animal production more efficient and resilient and will improve our wider understanding of landscape-scale processes.

 

To learn more about the specific soil, plant and animal areas of research click on the images, left.

It is our intention to provide regular updates to this website throughout the project so please ensure you bookmark this page and visit regularly to stay up-to-date with MAG-NET   research.

The MAG-NET team gratefully acknowledge the support of our sponsors (BBSRC and NERC) and partners.

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