Selenium is an essential nutrient for animal health, however many areas of New Zealand have a deficiency. In many cases, improving selenium levels can improve stock fertility and optimise milk production.
MANY OF NEW ZEALAND'S SOILS ARE LOW IN SELENIUM
Selenium deficiency is widespread in New Zealand and most farmers could benefit from applying selenium on their farms. The map below shows relative soil selenium levels in different regions throughout New Zealand. Although this gives an indication of where selenium deficiency could be greatest, herbage tests are the single best way to understand selenium (and other micronutrient) levels in a specific farm's pasture.
At a soil level, these areas and soil materials are most likely to have low selenium levels:
Central Plateau - soils formed from rhyolitic pumice
Waikato - peats soils
Manawatu - sand soils
Hawkes Bay - coarse stony soils
South Island - soils derived from loess, greywacke and schist