Being ‘green’ is all the rage now. Electric cars, canvas grocery bags and the local food movement all make people feel better about how they live. Amanda Radke, writer for Beef Magazine, points out that beef production has been green for a long while. Her recent editorial has inspired my blog for the week of Earth Day.
Winter weather is tough on everyone. Cold temperatures, wind and snow pack add up to a rough winter for your cow herd too. Producers can give their cows an advantage when cold weather comes around with the right supplement for winter pastures.
We take safety very seriously at Ridley Block Operations. Here, safety isn’t just something that the plants think about now and then. It’s a part of our culture in all aspects of the company. We’re also encouraged to think about safety outside of the office. So I thought it would be good to bring our culture of safety to our customers and encourage you to stop and think about safety in your everyday life too.
Technology is everywhere. Our homes are wireless, tractors all but drive themselves, and you can even get reminders on your phone to put out fresh barrels. As much as technology is readily accepted in other areas of everyday life, there is hesitation when it comes to technology and food production. Public concern over the use of feed additives in food animals is high with those outside the ag community. However, what would happen if the growth enhancing technology (GET) we take for granted in cattle production (ionophores, implants, etc.) where no longer available?
Water is a vital nutrient that we take for granted. We assume that if there’s water available for the livestock that we’ve taken care of that requirement. However, there are a number of factors that can negatively affect water quality and livestock performance. Earlier I talked about an easily identifiable factor of water quality, cyanobacteria. This time, I’ll cover one you can’t see, nitrates.
Water is a vital nutrient that we take for granted. We assume that if water is available, we’ve taken care of that requirement. However, there are a number of factors that can negatively affect water quality and livestock performance. So far we’ve talked about cyanobacteria and nitrates. This time, I’ll cover sulfates.
When in a drought situation, thoughts turn immediately to pastures. However water quality can drop off just as quickly during extended periods of hot, dry weather. Water is often the forgotten nutrient. We take it for granted that if there’s water available in the pen or pasture, that the livestock are set.
Nutritionists, along with producers, are always on the lookout for the next big thing to really improve livestock performance. In the case of nutritionists, we’re looking for products that pack a bigger nutritional punch per pound. Organic trace minerals are one of those advances that do bring a little more to the table. But what is an organic trace mineral?
Parasites are a drain on cattle performance and your wallet. While most people may not include flies in the parasite category, they should. Horn flies, in particular, are the most economically important external parasite in cattle production with estimated losses averaging $1 billion annually. Prevention and control are the keys to tipping the scale back in your favor.
Winter isn’t just for calving. Sheep and goat producers are gearing up for lambing/kidding season, too.
The last month of gestation is a key time in gestational development. Fetuses are rapidly growing and the body is mobilizing nutrients for milk production. Space in the rumen becomes a limiting factor. The rapidly growing lambs or kids push the uterus into the space normally occupied by the rumen, leaving less and less space for feed. Consequently, the dam may not have enough room in the rumen to get all her energy needs fulfilled (especially on an all-forage diet).