For many of us West of the Mississippi River, we are still extremely dry. Sure, there have been some recent storms that may have dampened the topsoil, but there are still plenty of areas in the west without much snow cover, and a much larger area where topsoil and subsoil moisture is almost nonexistent. We are a ways from the end of the drought, and even farther form replenishing subsoil moisture. Green forage, fresh or harvested, could be a long ways off as well. Any forage we have left, or can purchase to feed, is likely to be of declining quality.
When was the last time, you knew ahead of time, that your car would run into the ditch, in a blizzard? Or maybe, you absolutely knew that the Tornado warning on the radio was for a tornado that was headed directly at your home? I’m guessing these events have never occurred with certainty. That is why you may pack a survival kit in your car every winter, or why you head for the basement or some other tornado shelter, when you hear the warnings. If possible, many of us purchase insurance to protect against such unknown events. You make certain choices in life, to be prepared, just in case…….
It is almost Christmas time. Before you know it, the holidays will be over, and some of you may actually be looking forward to this! You may also be wondering if we will go over the Fiscal Cliff. As I write this, no one seems to have any answers.
Most of the cattlemen reading this blog will likely admit that they are in a drought, to some degree or another. Interestingly, some may have even sold hay from a bumper crop last year, for what seemed like a tidy profit at $125/ton, only to have to buy some back this year at prices $20 to $50 above that. What a difference el niño can make! For whatever reason, many Cattlemen are buying hay this fall, in order to get through the winter. And, for some cattlemen, hay may be scarce in their part of the country. CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) hay may be part of what they can make a deal on.
The answer is right now, today, if not sooner! Many of you have spring calving herds, and you have probably already weaned this year’s calves, or, you are about to. There are three main reasons that the time immediately after weaning is a great time to add condition to your cows, for very little investment.
Most Cattlemen are aware of two types of protein supplements. Those that are called an “all-natural”1, and those that utilize some urea, or other form of non-protein nitrogen (NPN). It is not unusual for Cattlemen to hesitate, or outright refuse to use a supplement containing NPN. Instances of overconsumption with free-choice supplements containing NPN have occasionally caused animal deaths. This is usually due to a combination of environmental factors (e.g., forage or water availability), and often times it is exacerbated by the previous plane of nutrition of the cattle involved. Still, many cattle are safely and effectively supplemented each year with a supplement containing some NPN.
Self-fed intake guidelines for CRYSTALYX® Brand Supplements can be made under the general categories of protein supplement formulations or mineral supplement formulations. However, within those two categories, you can see additional factors that impact consumption outlined below.
Worried about a drought this year, or perhaps, “again” this year? If you are not experiencing a drought this year, you have likely experienced one in the past, and you will likely see one in the future. If you agree with that statement, this information will someday be of use to you. Perhaps sooner, than later.
The majority of the research that Ridley Block Operations has conducted on modifying grazing distribution with CRYSTALYX® has occurred in the Fall. However, there are good examples of customers using CRYSTALYX® in the Summer, to modify grazing distribution.
As a Nutritionist, I often field questions from cattlemen on calf scours, weak calves and other calving time disasters.Most all of these questions come after the problem has already set in.While we cannot control the weather that will play a large role in stressing newly born claves, we can control the management of stress in our herds.