KemTRACE® Chromium

What is Chromium Propionate?

Chromium propionate is an essential trace mineral that has been proven safe and effective as an animal feed additive for more than two decades. KemTRACE® Chromium is a highly bioavailable, organic source of chromium for inclusion into swine and dairy cattle diets. KemTRACE Chromium has helped customers increase production and profitability in the swine and dairy industries. It works to optimize glucose utilization, which can result in better animal maintenance, reproduction, growth, and immunity. KemTRACE Chromium, fed to millions of animals around the world since its introduction in 2000, is registered in more than 30 countries.

Feeding Instructions

Species Feeding Period Feeding Rate
(Not to Exceed)
Swine Gestation/lactation, nursery, and grow-finish 200 ppb
Dairy Pre-fresh through late lactation 500 ppb

Chromium in Swine

Chromium mobilizes more blood glucose into tissue, allowing for improved performance based on each individual animal's hierarchy of needs. In sows, chromium supplementation can result in fewer non-productive sow days, greater feed intake during lactation, improved body conditioning and increased high-quality milk that results in larger weaned pigs.1,2 A larger weaned pig will become a higher performing animal for the rest of the life cycle.3 Improved performance extends beyond sows and nursery into grow-finish pigs. An increase in average daily gain and decrease in feed conversion helps grow-finish pigs reach their optimal genetic potential while keeping producers profitable.4,5,6

Chromium in Dairy Cattle

The dietary trace element, chromium, is necessary to optimize the activation of the insulin receptor so that more glucose can get into the cell. Adding supplemental KemTRACE Chromium to the diet provides the additional chromium fo rinsulin receptor activation. Chromium enhances this reaction, causing glucose transporter activation, allowing additional glucose to enter the cow cell. Glucose is critical for milk lactose synthesis, an energy source for the immune system, and ovarian function, along with glucose as an energy source for normal body activity. Optimized glucose utilization can result in better animal maintenance, production, reproduction, growth, and immunity.

If insulin receptors are not functioning correctly, a condition referred to as insulin resistance can impact the cow. The additional glucose will allow for more energy to be available for proper cell function. Researchers report insulin resistance can occur in close-up dry cows, early lactation, and mid-lactation cows, compared to late-lactation cows and far-off dry cows. The findings also suggest chromium can enhance or improve milk yield, reproduction, immune response and heat stress, compared to cows not supplemented with chromium.7,8,9,10,11,12,13


Evaluation of Chromium Propionate on Reproductive Performance of Holstein Cows

A field trial was conducted on an 800-cow Holstein dairy in the United States to evaluate the effect of chromium propionate on reproductive performance. The trial was conducted from January through October 2012 and was an all-off/all-on design, where all lactating cows received 8 mg Cr/head/d delivered through a base corn mix included in all lactating diets. In conclusion, chromium supplementation during lactation improved reproductive performance of high-producing Holstein cows managed under commercial conditions.

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Effects of Chromium Propionate Supplementation on Immunity and Subclinical Endometritis in Dairy Cows during the Periparturient Period

A study was conducted with sixty-one (61) multiparous Holstein cows to determine the effects of chromium propionate supplementation during the periparturient period and early lactation on immunity and subclinical endometritis. The objectives of the study were to evaluate the effects of chromium propionate supplementation to dairy cows during the periparturient period and early lactation on performance, metabolism, aspects of immune function and the incidence of cytological-diagnosed endometritis (CDE). The findings from this study may suggest that chromium supplementation enhanced immune response in early lactation to bacterial infections in the uterus by increasing neutrophil proliferation, which cleared infections more effectively and resulted in fewer cows with subclinical endometritis later in lactation.

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Evaluation of Chromium Propionate on Milk Production of Holstein Cows Under Heat Stress Conditions

A field trial was conducted on an 800-cow, commercial Holstein dairy in southeastern Pennsylvania to evaluate the effect of chromium (Cr) propionate (Cr-Pro) on milk yield by 2nd lactation and greater cows under heat stress conditions. The trial was conducted from June through October 2012 and the dairy had been supplementing Cr-Pro to all lactating cows for six months prior to the initiation of the trial. The trial design was a split plot with parallel treatments where the high group (2nd and greater lactation, 14-150 days in milk (DIM)) cows were randomly assigned to either the Control (no Cr-Pro) or Cr-Pro supplemented to provide 8 mg Cr/h/d. Milk yield, lbs/cow/d, was significantly greater (107.5 vs. 101.8, P < 0.0001) for Cr-Pro supplemented cows compared to control cows.

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Progressive Dairyman: Minimizing the Negative Effects of Stress on Herd Health and Productivity

Understanding the relationship between stress, immunity and reproductive herd health is paramount to discovering nutritional management best practices for your dairy herd. Chromium supplementation primarily acts to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the release of stress hormones, both of which enhance reproductive health–namely, uterine immune cell function and restoration of the ovarian cycle after calving. Ultimately, this improvement in overall herd reproductive health should contribute to lower veterinary/medical costs, lower discounts on cull cows at the packer, improved conception rates and more optimal milk production.

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Progressive Dairyman: An Update on Chromium

Trace minerals continue to be studied and explored in dairy cattle nutrition. Trace minerals do not immediately impact milk yield such as increasing amino acids, added fats and oils, or improved fibre digestibility. The role of trace minerals include improved enzyme function, stimulation of metabolism, antioxidant source, enhanced immune responses, increased fertility and increased dry matter intake, leading to more milk.

Progressive Dairyman - Canada, January 1, 2018.

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1Sohn, K. S., and C. V. Maxwell. 1999. New Technologies for Sow Nutrition and Management: A Review. Asian-Aus. J. Anim. Sci. 12:956-965.

2Hagen, C. D., M. D. Lindemann, and K. W. Purser. 2000. Effect of dietary chromium tripicolinate on productivity of sows under commercial conditions. Swine Health Prod. 8:59-63.

3Collins, C. L., J. R. Pluske, R. S. Morrison, T. N. McDonald, R. J. Smits, D. J. Henman, I. Stensland, and F. R. Dunshea. 2016. Post-weaning and whole-of-life performance of pigs is determined by live weight at weaning and the complexity of the diet fed after weaning. Anim. Nutr. 3:372-379.

4Lawrence, B. V., D. Overend, S. A. Hansen, J. D. Hahn, and R. Ogaard. 2004. Chromium propionate influence on pig performance and meat quality. J. Anim. Sci. 82(suppl):143.

5Mayorga, E. J., S. K. Stoakes, J. T. Seibert, E. A. Horst, M. Abuajamieh, S. Lei, L. Ochoa, B. Kremer, and L. H. Baumgard. 2016. Effects of dietary chromium propionate during heat stress on finishing pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 94(2):139.

6Gebhardt, J. T., H. S. Cemin, J. C. Woodworth, M. D. Tokach, S. S. Dritz, J. M. DeRoughey, J. A. Loughmiller, and R. D. Goodband. 2017. Effects of KemTRACE Chromium level and feeding regimen on finishing pig growth performance and carcass characteristics. J. Anim. Sci. 95(suppl):275.

7Horst, E. A., S. K. Kvidera, E. J. Mayorga, C. S. Shouse, M. Al-Qaisi, M. J. Dickson, J. A. Ydstie, H. A. Ramirez, K. E. Griswold, and L. H. Baumgard. 2017. Effects of dietary chromium on circulating energetic metabolites and leukocyte patterns following a lipopolysaccharide challenge in lactating cows. Abstract 337. J. Dairy Sci. 100(2):361.

8Spears, J. W., and W. P. Weiss. 2008. Role of antioxidants and trace elements in health and immunity of transition dairy cows. Vet J. 176:70-76.

9Yuan, K., C. F. Vargas-Rodriguez, L. K. Mamedova, M. B. Muckey, M. A. Vaughn, D. D. Burnet, J. M. Gonzalez, E. C. Titgemeyer, K. E. Griswold, and B. J. Bradford. 2014. Effects of supplemental chromium propionate and rumen-protected amino acids on nutrient metabolism, neutrophol activation, and adipocyte size in dairy cows during peak lactation. J. Dairy Sci. 97:3822-3831.

10Bryan, M. A., M. T. Socha, and D. J. Tomlinson. 2004. Supplementing intensively grazed late-gestation and early-lactation dairy cattle with chromium. J. Dairy Sci. 87:4269-4277.

11Lavín-Garza, B., A. Garza, M. Daccarett, F. R. Valdez, C. A. Meza-Herrera, and R. Rodríguez-Martínez. 2007. Milk yield and reproductive performance in Holstein cows supplemented with chromium in early lactation. J. Dairy Sci. 90(1):359.

12Al-Saiadi, M. Y., M. A. Al-Shaikh, S. I. Al-Mofarrei, T. A. Al-Showeimi, H. H. Mogawer, and A. Dirrar. 2004. Effect of chelated chromium supplementation on lactation performance and blood parameters of Holstein cows under heat stress. Anim. Feed Sci. Tech. 117:223-233.

13Mirzaei, M., G. R. Ghorbani, M. Khorvash, H. R. Rahmani, and A. Nikkhah. 2010. Chromium improves production and alters metabolism of early lactation cows in summer. J. Anim. Physiol. Anim. Nutr. 85:81-89.