Most of you have probably walked into your local feed store or glanced at your current price list and gotten a shock at how much prices have shot up in the last few months. A global vitamin shortage (particularly vitamin A) has set the feed industry on edge. This shortage is expected to continue well into 2018.
Has anyone noticed the increased cost of supplements and manufactured feeds lately? What's the reason? Vitamin costs. In beef cattle nutrition, it seems a lot of attention is given and information is reported, regarding the importance of nutrients like protein, macro and trace minerals, fats and carbohydrates (starch and sugar).
Recent studies cite that 83.9% of the cattle at harvest showed signs of chronic oxidative stress. What role do chelated trace minerals have in improving oxidative balance and how can we help cattle reach their full genetic potential?
This is a topic that I have tried on several occasions to write about but thought that it might be too ambiguous in terms of what could possibly be written that would seem valuable enough or intriguing enough to be read by cow-calf producers. What has kept this topic simmering on the backburner have been observations not only at work but also with my kids at home.
It’s November in the heartland and corn harvest has been in full swing. Grazing corn residue, or commonly just called, “grazing cornstalks,” is commonplace where cows and cornfields coexist.
The way we feed cattle is constantly evolving; the novel concept of putting out a salt block, the early work on trace mineral requirements in the 50’s, the addition of copper to HE-20% in the 90’s and the introduction of chelated/organic trace minerals to the market in the 90’s. The cattle we raise are also evolving. The genetic profile of today’s herds are light years ahead of the herds of the 50’s, so why are we still supplementing cattle as if they are?
A customer very familiar with how well CRYSTALYX® Brigade® works on stressed calves at weaning time, once told me, “There are only two things wrong with Brigade®, it doesn’t cost enough, and it is too easy.” While that is humorous, there is a lot of truth in that statement. Brigade® will cost about 14 cents per head per day. In a typical 28 day receiving period, that is about $4 per head.