When it comes to buying mineral mixes, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Be suspicious if a mineral mix is priced more than 10 percent lower than other mineral mixes on the market, says Mike Gamroth, extension dairy specialist at Oregon State University. “This is a very competitive business, and if you see a low, rock-bottom price (on a mineral mix), you had better ask why.”

Ask your supplier about the quality of the mineral mix. Know what to look for to gauge quality. For instance, try to ensure that you are getting sulfate sources of a mineral versus oxide sources. Copper sulfate and iron sulfate are much more available to an animal than copper oxide or iron oxide. And, be suspicious whenever you see “elemental iron” or “elemental copper” because those may simply be filings that are not readily available to the animal’s digestive system.