Feeding nitrate-containing forage requires caution for cattle and ranch horses

Nitrate toxicity can be a serious problem in cattle and other ruminants. They are more prone to toxicity because the microbes in the rumen convert nitrate (NO3) to a more toxic nitrite (NO2) form. However, since horses are hindgut fermenters and do not have the extensive ability to ferment forages like cattle do, the risk is lower.