On the Blog

Flushing Does for the Breeding Season

As breeding season quickly approaches, goat owners should think about whether or not to flush their breeding does. What is flushing? Flushing in simple terms refers to putting the animals on a higher plain of nutrition 30 days prior to breeding and continuing on until 30 days after breeding. The purpose of flushing is to facilitate better ovulation rates and increased implantation rates resulting in better conception rates and increased twinning or even triples. Under the correct circumstances the practice of flushing can reap many benefits; however, it is not ideal for every situation.

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Weaning and Receiving Calves the CRYSTALYX® Way

Using CRYSTALYX® in weaning & receiving programs is well established and promoted. In a CRYSTALYX® weaning program, products such as Beef-Lyx®, Brigade®, or Battalion® are placed with newly weaned calves or with cow-calf pairs a couple of weeks ahead of cow-calf separation.  CRYSTALYX® is then left with calves for about a month until they are on feed and completely weaned. In this blog, I will review these different CRYSTALYX® products. There are distinct fortification differences between the three and one may fit better depending on the weaning strategy.

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Cattle Can Remember Stress

Stress... it's part of life. Whether it's caused by work, school, neighbors, we all deal with it in our own way and move on. Livestock experience stress too. We tend to focus on stress in calves and feedlot cattle and how that affects performance and ultimately the bottom line. But what about the cows in the pasture? To be honest, I never really thought about it either. This year’s wildfires and weather have brought it to mind several times though, do cow have a memory for stressful events?

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Early Weaning Considerations

As we enter the later part of the summer, many farms and ranches may find themselves short of grass.  In the upper plains, the main reason may be due to drought conditions and in other areas it may be due to stocking rate combined with weather issues.  I travel in areas of expensive farm ground where the availability of pasture land is still an issue.  Several producers have added cows more quickly than pasture has become available or available at a reasonable cost.  We have yet to see corn and bean ground going back into grassland at an appreciable rate.  Whatever the reason of forage shortage, the decision to early wean can benefit the cow by reducing the nutrient demand for lactation and allowing her to regain body condition.

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How Beef Cow-Calf Producers can Reduce Impact on the Environment

Sustainable is an expressive term that has gained momentum when describing desired food production systems.  It attempts to pull together all facets of what goes into food production and provide guidance to what is good for consumers, producers profitability, environment, livestock in the case of meat animal production, employees and communities.  No small task when you consider these different parts of the food system.  You can probably see without too much difficulty, that a priority in one area, could easily have a conflicting or negative effect in another area. 

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Beef as a Functional Food

One of the perks of my job is the opportunity to attend professional meetings and learn about the work of other scientists. One of the more interesting sessions at the recent joint meeting of the American Society of Animal Science and Canadian Society of Animal Science was about functional foods of animal origin.

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Two Points to Remember in a Drought

The Drought of the Central Dakotas is spreading to Nebraska and Eastern Montana.  The change from an El Nino to a La Nina, can mean that much of the rest of the summer could be very dry in the Western and Plains States.  Drier days are also likely ahead of us in the Corn Belt.

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Manage Your Mineral & Simplify Your Program with CRYSTALYX®

The management of a mineral program is often grossly underestimated or under-appreciated– especially in free-choice programs for grazing cattle.  Poor management leads to compromised mineral programs ending up with improper intake, excess waste, increased cost and/or poor cattle performance.  In most cases, a poorly managed mineral program is just a waste of money.  So how can we improve mineral management?  CRYSTALYX® has some simple answers but first let’s look at some of the problems

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BANG! The Drum for Dairy Month!

It wouldn’t be right to take time to salute the beef industry without doing the same for the dairy industry. After all, what goes better with a nice steak than a dish of ice cream? As a salute to the hard-working families of the dairy industry, I offer you 10 facts to wow your non-ag friends and family.

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June is Dairy Month - BOOM! It's Starting to Get Hot!

Last week, Dan Dhuyvetter wrote a blog on summer conditions, drought and he started the title with the exclamation “Wham!”.  When it comes to summer heat and humidity, “Boom!” is a fitting exclamation for the way heat and humidity can negatively impact dair­­y cattle.

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