Many of us have seen daily news and social media updates regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. In particular, those of us in the ag community have an interest in both livestock and companion animals that have been impacted by the flooding. There has been daily coverage of livestock being moved out of flooded areas, desperate to find higher ground. For those who are familiar with Gulf Coast grazing lands and the endless acres of low-lying, boggy, marshy pastures, we understand the challenges associated with their efforts. The recovery ahead will take not only a few days or weeks, but many months and perhaps even more.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
No one likes to hear the “D” word and I don’t mean Dallas or even Divorce. We all know it as Drought! Many parts of the US don’t have to worry about drought now as moisture conditions this spring have been very generous. That is fortunate for many cattle producers as much of the pasture production as well as forages for hay crops, are greatly impacted by spring moisture conditions. Unfortunately, there is one area that has been dealing with Spring weather conditions that have been getting drier and drier. That is the Upper Plains States.
As feed professionals and nutritionist, we often look at CRYSTALYX® supplementation to improve forage utilization, provide key nutrients, deliver additives like fly control compounds, or apply a strategy targeted at specific performance parameters (weaning or breeding). One other very valuable tool CRYSTALYX® provides, and has been researched extensively, is that of Grazing Distribution.
May is Beef Month. It’s a time to celebrate all that the beef industry has to offer, regardless of breed or management. To celebrate the industry we all love, I offer you 10 things to share about cattle that your non-ag friends may not know.