Date of this Version
This NebGuide describes symptoms, causes, prevention and treatment of nitrate poisoning in livestock.
Nitrate poisoning in cattle occurred long before the use of nitrogen fertilizers. In the late 1800s there were reports of cornstalk poisoning in Nebraska, and nitrate poisoning from oat hay in North and South Dakota and from weeds in the high-organic matter soils in Florida and Wisconsin.
Nitrate concentrations in feeds for livestock depends more on plant species and environmental conditions prior to harvest than on the amount of available nitrogen in the soil.