Texas AgriLife Extension Service experts said Tuesday the deaths of 15 cattle in Bastrop County recently were likely an isolated event and that no further problems are anticipated.
“There’s a lot of information and misinformation that continues to circulate about this recent isolated case of cattle dying after consuming a Bermuda grass hybrid known as Tifton 85,” said Dr. Ron Gill, AgriLife Extension livestock specialist. “It should be known that there is not a widespread problem or concern related to this forage or its use for grazing livestock or the production of hay for livestock consumption.”
The single incident occurred when 15 cattle died with clinical signs and preliminary diagnostic results consistent with prussic acid poisoning, said Dr. Tom Hairgrove, AgriLife Extension animal health specialist. The cattle were in a pure field of Tifton 85 Bermuda grass.
Results of analyses of rumen contents and fresh forage from the field in question by the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, an agency that is part of The Texas A&M University System, indicated potential prussic acid toxicity, and at this time there are no other known reported cases of prussic acid toxicity on Tifton 85 Bermuda grass, Hairgrove said.