Roughly 25% of US beef originates from areas in which fescue forages are predominant. Losses associated with the fescue endophyte are estimated at a whopping $1 billion annually. Within this area of the US, 95% of the calf crop is achieved via natural service, making bull exposure to endophyte toxins a major issue.
As feed professionals and nutritionist, we often look at CRYSTALYX® supplementation to improve forage utilization, provide key nutrients, deliver additives like fly control compounds, or apply a strategy targeted at specific performance parameters (weaning or breeding). One other very valuable tool CRYSTALYX® provides, and has been researched extensively, is that of Grazing Distribution.
May is Beef Month. It’s a time to celebrate all that the beef industry has to offer, regardless of breed or management. To celebrate the industry we all love, I offer you 10 things to share about cattle that your non-ag friends may not know.
Driving this week it was very apparent that spring has arrived and cattle will be turned out to pasture very soon in many areas. Tractors were in the fields completing manure application with tillage and planting equipment starting once soils begin to dry up a bit. Increased activities over the next few weeks signal a critical time in many agricultural production systems and this is especially true for the cow calf sector. A couple of the benefits of CRYSTALYX® Self Fed Supplements are the saving time compared to hand fed supplements and the added confidence of consistent nutrient delivery during critical production phases.
Does this beast even exist in North America today? Short answer is certainly yes, but there are far fewer today than there were over the last 30 to 40 years. I remember watching a number of bred female sales out in Western North Dakota in the 80’s. It was very common to see females fit into this 1000 and 1050 mature cow weight. Bigger cows back then moved up to the 1100 or even 1200 pound mark. Those are days that are long gone as our genetics and selection pressures have changed. And with it cows that have increased in size.
Fescue toxicity is the costliest grass-related disease in the United States. Cattle consuming endophyte-infected fescue experience production losses exceeding $600 million per year. Fescue is commonly grown throughout the mid-western and southern United States and accounts for over 40 million acres of forage land.
It’s the time of year we see more attention to the topic of good fly control whether it be from advertising, producer meeting and seminar topics, blogs such as this, and others. CRYSTALYX® has a variety of supplement formulas that deliver three different feed through fly control additives, Rabon® Oral Larvicide, Altosid® (IGR), and Clarifly®. They all work well but have some different applications depending on fly control strategies. Still, no matter the fly control compound being delivered, CRYSTALYX® is a convenient and effective way to combine fly control with a self-fed supplement all in one package.
Cattle on pasture. There is something iconic, almost romantic, about a herd of cattle spread across a lush, green pasture with the wind dancing through the grass. Grazing cattle is the foundation of the cattle industry, the heart and soul, steeped in tradition. Many producers take advantage of placing growing or stocker cattle on pasture; each adding their own spin on the age-old tradition.
CRYSTALYX® supplements are highly palatable which contributes to several benefits related to grazing management. Cattle like the stuff and will seek it out! Strategic placement of barrels can modify where beef cattle graze and impact resting behavior in pasture and open range settings. A dairy free stall barn is a much smaller and confined setting but recent finds show that where barrels are placed does impact cow movement and behavior, even when abundant quantities of a TMR diet is offered in a restricted housing environment.