Animals grazed on the volcanic pumice soils common in the King Country wasted away unless they were moved to pasture on different soil. In 1935 scientists discovered the cause of this 'bush sickness' was a deficiency of the mineral cobalt in the soil. In a 1939 experiment King Country pastures were treated with superphosphate and cobalt, and animals grazed on these treated pastures remained healthy.
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National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: Evening Post, 24 November 1939, p. 15
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