Fly season is in full swing. Horn flies cost the beef industry upwards of $1 billion annually, in losses from poor cow and bull performance, lowered weaning weights, and disease. Producers spend upwards of $600 million dollars to combat files. When you consider what’s at stake, how do you know if your fly control program working for you and your cattle?
I’m a huge football fan. As I sit here writing, it’s the first day of spring practice for my son’s football team. And on this day, it’s easy to observe which boys worked hard during the off-season and which didn’t. Who’s vying for a starter’s position and who’s in danger of being cut. In football the ground work for a successful program is laid in the many months leading up to the first practice, let alone the first game. One can draw similar comparisons when speaking about calving season with beef producers.
With Agriculture, you can count on change, uncertainty, challenge, risk and opportunity. It’s only 5 months from 2017 when the new Veterinary Feed Directive becomes law of the land. This directive/ruling will regulate the feeding of Antibiotics in food animals giving oversight to veterinarians and has been well described in previous blogs by my colleagues.
With each new season there are things that we look forward to like green grass, warm days and watching the new calf crop develop. One thing we and our cattle do not look forward to is the suffering, annoyance and general loss of performance that excessive fly pressure can create. We have recently expanded our fly control options available in the CRYSTALYX® self-fed supplment line.
Organic or Natural were terms that seemed pretty descriptive and easily understood years ago when describing nutritional supplements used in Livestock production. That was then and now they have seemed to take on lives of their own as they can now also be used to describe very detailed marketing programs resulting in value-added products in both crop and livestock production. With the broader use of both Natural and Organic, we have found confusion with livestock producers when matching supplements to meet not only their nutritional needs but also complying with any marketing programs that they are targeting for specific animals.
Weather forecasters are calling for El Nino weather patterns to continue through the spring, meaning wet and relatively mild conditions. Unfortunately, these are perfect conditions for the horn fly to propagate. Excessive horn fly populations can literally suck the profit out of your cattle operation! Biting flies reduce weaning weights, lower milk production and spread disease.
Cattle feeding will be changing in 2017. Starting Jan 1, 2017, all livestock producers will need a veterinary feed directive (VFD) in order to utilize antibiotics in the feed. Trying to wade through all the regulations can be a nightmare, so I’ve pulled out 5 things you need to know to be ready for 2017.
We realize there are many information sources that livestock producers can seek out and are honored that many producers find CRYSTALYX® activities as a reliable and trusted source for information.
We have always been aware that whether it is more of a confined feeding situation or pasture type environment, respecting the landscape and surrounding resources where cattle are raised is important for future sustainability.
When you live in the northern US and Canada, this time of year means cold temperatures and snow. They go hand in hand with iced over and frozen waterers. This can lead some to look at the snow covered range and wonder if the snow can be used as a water source.