A dramatic change in the winter weather across the Northern part of the US has taken place over the past week or so as temperatures have plunged and ice fisherman can now more confidently go about their business. What began as a very mild start to the winter, has quickly changed to more typical temperatures we normally see for this time of the year. This got me thinking over the weekend that some timely reminders in how your cow herd is fed and managed might better help get your cows through to spring. So how does cold temperatures affect your beef herd?
Winter Storm Goliath has packed a wallop across most of the country between blizzard conditions in some areas and massive rain and flooding in others. And with forecasters predicting one of the strongest El Niños on record, excessive rain and flooding may well be the rule instead of the exception this year. Below are some tips and considerations in dealing with flooded pastures and fields:
I was riding through Montana last week with a sales associate, and one of his comments regarding the year we have been having was, “What a great winter for feeding CRYSTALYX®!” I have heard this comment many times over the years when we have had a milder fall/winter.
The incessant rains have made for a wet summer for many cattle producers across the US. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, cattle have to stand in water resulting in more cases of foot rot. Why should you care? Lame cows won’t eat enough and thus won’t make enough milk for calves. Lame calves won’t graze either, resulting in further reduced weight gains. Lame bulls will not travel to seek out females in heat, meaning more open cows at the end of breeding season. Overall, lameness can be very costly in the long run.
July is here, and with it, some of the hottest days of the summer are just ahead of us. Self-fed intake of CRYSTALYX® Brand Supplements can be higher in the summer/warmer months. During the manufacturing process, CRYSTALYX® is packaged in to barrels at a temperature of approximately 150 to 175 degrees. At this temperature, CRYSTALYX® is very pliable, much like Play Doh® or thick cookie dough. As it cools, it becomes hard. Hardness is a primary factor in determining the self-fed intake of CRYSTALYX®. As you would expect, if CRYSTALYX® warms back up towards that 150 degree temperature, it will become softer again. That is just the nature of a Low-Moisture Block.
July is a time for many of us to let ruminants be ruminants by allowing our cow herd to graze without poking or prodding and at the same time give us a chance to either catch up on other things or to take a much deserved break, maybe even a vacation. In some regions of the country haying or putting up some sort of winter stored feed supplies. can take up a big part of the summer. While much of the CRYSTALYX® supplementation takes place in the fall and winter season, there are a number of product applications that take us year round.
I’ve been last for most of my life…alphabetical, height, foot races, etc. It’s rare that I get the last word, though not for a lack of trying. So I’m honored to be the last blog post of 2013.
My colleagues and I try to find thought provoking, timely and useful topics to discuss with you each week. The most obvious topic for the last day of the year would be a retrospective, but that one has been claimed. So here are my thoughts for 2014.
As we are nearing the end of the 2013 calendar year, it is nice to reflect on how good the year has been to the Beef Cow-calf and Stocker industry. Weather conditions have started to return to more normal moisture patterns and are replenishing grazed forage supplies across the country with a few scattered exceptions. The other unfortunate weather event is the untimely early winter storm, Atlas that resulted in large cattle losses primarily in Western SD. Cattle producers and the Beef industry in general has responded quickly in establishing relief funds to help get those hardest hit, back up and going again.
Everyone loves calving in the Spring and watching newborn calves bouncing around the pastures. It provides a sense of new beginnings for that particular calf crop with great expectations of how they will perform over the summer grazing season. I would argue that weaning is as important, or even more critical as a period of new beginnings for the calf crop. Calves must now perform on their own without any assistance from their mother. From a cow-calf producers stand point with all that has been invested up to this point, you will want to make sure calves are able to transition to stockers, feeders, replacement heifers or young bulls without any set-backs in growth or compromised health status. After all, for most producers, pay day is just around the corner.