On the Blog

What Does the Name Mean?

Have you ever wondered who gets paid to think up names for cars, or any new product?  You know, great names like Charger, Road Runner, Chevelle, Mustang, Cougar, and Corvette. Those names had some meaning behind them, and hopefully it translated quickly, when you heard someone mention them.

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A CRYSTALYX® Summer Mineral Program

I once wrote a blog asking if your supplement could multi-task.  While the intent of this blog is similar, it will be much more product specific, for the summer ahead.  See if you can figure out which product I’m talking about in the paragraphs ahead.

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CRYSTALYX® Product Updates for 2014

This year, the CRYSTALYX® fly control products have been reformulated to include organic/chelated trace minerals.  Those products include:

  • CRYSTALYX® IGR MAX
  • CRYSTALYX® IGR PRO
  • CRYSTALYX® ROLYX®  MAX
  • CRYSTALYX® ROLYX®  PRO-MAG

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Should All Purchasing Decisions be Based on Price?

I recall a recent story that was related to me by one of our Account Managers, where a potential customer drove his truck to a CRYSTALYX® Dealership and said, “What is your price on a tub like this?”  He was pointing to a low-moisture block that was made by a competitor and labeled for a local chain of feed stores.  Obviously the customer was making the buying decision entirely on price, and the only difference he saw between the tubs, was in fact, the price.  Everyone has that right when faced with a purchasing decision.  Do we look at features, benefits and value, or just ask for a price?  I will have to admit that I purchase gasoline or diesel almost purely on price and convenience of the filling station.  For other items, I’d generally like a little more information.  

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Numbers Change, Every Day...

This last week, the DOW Jones Industrial passed 16,000.  That is up almost 150% since March of 2009.  If you do not watch it almost every day, you could miss it buy 500 points or more. Some numbers change fast.  When I bought my first pickup in the late 70’s, you changed oil every 3,000 miles.  Today, some vehicles using synthetic oil, can go 7,500 to 15,000 miles between oil changes.  Some numbers change slowly.  Still, even though I know I can go 7,500 miles, it’s hard for me to exceed 5,000 miles on an oil change.  If I change my oil every 7,500 miles instead of 5,000, I will only pay for 2/3 as many oil changes for the life of the vehicle.  I really need to pay attention to the new numbers, and get comfortable with them, and the new numbers that come out 2-3 years from now, and the new numbers 2-3 years after that, etc.

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Why Should I Supplement Protein in September

If your grass is starting to dry out, or it has reached maturity, it will likely be short on crude protein (CP).  Yearling cattle really should have a diet CP level of at least 12%, and your mature cows should have at least 8% CP.  This is the time of the year when many western pastures will begin to fall below even 8% CP.  But, you say, were we not taught to only really worry about cow nutrition the last trimester of gestation?  If you fail to supplement protein to your cow herd in September or October does it really matter?  The short answer is, yes, it could.

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Can you hedge against sickness in weaned calves?

I heard an interesting statement at a meeting I attended last week, on the subject of animal health with incoming calves in a feedlot.  That being “sickness is the only variable you cannot hedge with weaned calves”.  This is very true, for a number of reasons.  You do not always know the previous nutritional and health programs of newly arrived calves.  Add to that, you do not always know which days of the week would be best to receive calves, as the weather is unpredictable.  Many feedlots would not schedule shipments or arrivals based on weather forecasts anyway.  The health of weaned calves will always be a bit of a gamble when you buy unknown calves.  Many feedlots prefer to buy calves from past customers for this reason – they know how they performed the year(s) before, and would likely expect similar performance this year.  A small percentage of the cows may have been replaced and the same can be said for the bulls, but the majority of the genetics are the same, and you could expect the same from their nutrition and health programs.

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Cattleman, what's in your future, and what's in the past?

There are lots of clichés out there that deal with yesterday, today and tomorrow.  We have 20-20 hindsight for yesterday, and usually a good idea of what is going on today.  Most anyone could retire young, if you could predict tomorrow.  While tomorrow or next week is very hard to predict, some trends you can recognize from years past, can give you a decent estimate of the years ahead.  That may be the gist of the quote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  In the feed business, a common quote that we all fear from a customer is “That is the way my Dad always did it.”  There is much of great value to be learned from our forefathers, but, the latest Technology in Agriculture is probably not one of them.  

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Drought, Snow, Tetany, What Next?

In my last blog (about 7 weeks ago), I predicted that it always rains at the end of a drought.  For many of us in the northern plains, we received one to two feet of snow in April.  Some had more, and some had less, but in many areas it was the first appreciable amount of precipitation in months.  Could it be that it may snow at the end of a drought?  Perhaps so, but it is way too early to say we are coming out of the great drought of 2012.  There will be ample moisture in many places to spur some spring growth of cool season grasses.  Jon Albro had an excellent Blog on March 19th about the increased likelihood of grass tetany following a dry winter.  As you read this today, many of you may already be experiencing that.  Hopefully you have had high magnesium supplements out ahead of the threat.

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