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Calculating Sulfur Intake Excess by Hand

  • Estimate sulfur contributed by water (%SH2O):

    • Determine the concentration of sulfate in the water by laboratory analysis. Sulfate concentration is usually expressed as parts per million (ppm). Milligrams per liter = ppm.

  • Since sulfate is 1/3 sulfur, mg SO4/L is divided by 3 = mg S/L of water.

  • Daily water intake in liters for beef cattle = 8%, 10%, 18% of body weight for ambient temperatures of 40°, 70°, and 90° F respectively. Daily water intake in liters for lactating cows = 10%, 15%, 15% of body weight for ambient temperatures of 40°, 70°, and 90° F respectively. Liters of water intake is multiplied by mg S/L = intake of sulfur in mg. Divide by 1000 for intake of sulfur in grams.

  • Daily dry matter intake = 2-3% body weight in kg.

  • %SH2O on DMI basis = total intake of S from water in grams divided by kg DMI divided by 10.

  • Estimate sulfur provided by feed or forage as % DMI (%SFF):

  • Determine the concentration of sulfur in the total mixed ration or individual diet ingredients. These are usually reported % sulfur as DM. If the data is given as % sulfate, divide the value(s) by 3.

  • If a total mixed ration is analyzed, this is the value to be used as %SFF.

  • If individual feed ingredients or forage components are analyzed, multiply the %S as DM for each ingredient by the proportion of the diet it represents. Then add the proportionally adjusted sulfur concentrations for all the components. This sum is the %SFF.

  • To calculate the estimated total sulfur concentration us the following:
    TSC = %SH2O + %SFF


Contact Us:

Fort Collins Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
300 West Drake Road
Fort Collins, CO 80526

Phone:
(970) 297-1281

Fax:
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dlab@colostate.edu
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