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 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?
The current cattle economics situation is making everyone evaluate their feeding programs and overall production cost. Markets have their cycles and it is hard to say how long this period of low prices will last, given how quickly markets have moved in the last 2-3 years. As you look at your feeding program, remember it is the cost per pound of product sold that is the true driver of profitability.
I like to focus my blogs around timely nutrition and management topics for beef cow-calf producers whenever I can. My motivation is mainly to provide useful information that can help keep beef producers in business today and in the future. However, I thought I might take a break from that theme with a few observations related to the “Sustainability” term that keeps coming at us with increasing intensity.
It’s no secret this fall is a different fall than the past two or three regarding the cattle market. The pressure is on to scrutinize cost, not just feed, but all costs. My neighbor brought some cows to our place for fall pasture this past weekend and commented that, “not many new pickups will be sold this fall.”
It’s hard to believe that we’re already in October. Three months remain in 2016 and three months remain before the VFD rule goes into effect. While this rule change does not affect any CRYSTALYX® products, we want to be sure that you are well versed in what will be affected and what you will need to do. Below are 5 more questions that have come from the field as the deadline draws near.
Weaning is one of the more stressful times for calves. Managing weaning stress is a major factor that determines when many producers market their calf crop. Weaning stress is a combination of nutritional and social changes forced upon the calf. Avoiding the risk of health problems at weaning is one reason some producers choose to wean on the trailer as the calves go to the sale barn.
I once heard a salesman that fully understood the benefits of using CRYSTALYX® Brigade® on weaned, stressed calves, say, “There are only two things wrong with Brigade®… #1. It does not cost enough and. #2. It is too easy. I’ll likely never forget that statement, as it has a lot of truth in it, and it provides insight in to human nature. Many times we have an internal, or gut feeling that if something is easy – then it may not be the best solution. Same goes for the cost of something; generally, the more you spend the better product or response you get.
While there are many parts of the country dealing with flooding and excessive rains right now, others are dealing with drought or dry conditions. Additionally, weather forecasters are saying that the La Niña weather pattern will increase chances for drought in late summer and fall even areas that are wet now. Whether you’re in drought now or preparing for drought later, don’t wait to form a plan.
Yes, this is yet another article about the upcoming Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) Rules. By now some of you are probably tired of hearing about them, while others are hearing this for the first time.