What causes nitrate toxicity in beef cattle?

Nitrate toxicity is a non-infectious and potentially lethal condition whereby cattle consume forages, feedstuffs, or water sources with excessive nitrate concentrations. Nitrate accumulation begins in the plant and plays an integral role in the plant life cycle. Plants absorb nitrates from the soil through the roots, and once in the plant convert the accumulating nitrates to ammonia using nitrite as an intermediary compound. In this video, you will learn of several environmental factors can disrupt the normal nitrate-to-protein cycle that may lead to an accumulation of nitrates in plants. Recognizing these factors allows managers to prevent nitrate toxicity before it becomes costly to the cattle operation.

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