In the world of self-fed block supplementation, there have not been many new block forms introduced over the past few decades. While overall nutritional profiles have gone through some significant evolutions during that period of time, the types of blocks available in the marketplace have not changed much.
How does feeding low-moisture blocks fit into the topic of pasture and rangeland management? I recently wrote an article published in Progressive Cattle Magazine that discussed rangeland quality and productivity, and in this, my latest blog, I’ll discuss how CRYSTALYX, specifically, fits into and complements grazing.
If you are in the western half of the United States, the northeast or, really, in many of the areas in between, it probably comes as no surprise to you that the U.S. drought monitor map currently features a lot of undesirable colors.
As I write this blog, I am enjoying a break from the heat and humidity in Kentucky; today, it is only 84 degrees, and the relative humidity is at 48%. It almost feels like spring compared to the past several days, which have featured temperatures over 90 degrees and oppressive humidity.
We often hear about the pros and cons of retaining ownership of your calves post-weaning. I googled it and got 1.5 million hits, so it is definitely a popular subject. Much of the debate revolves around spreading out your marketing risk or creating more marketing options, getting paid more for the better genetics that you purchase and getting carcass data back to help you make better genetic pairings and selections.
At CRYSTALYX, most of our attention centers around beef cattle production — and for good reason. The majority of CRYSTALYX being supplemented, from a volume standpoint, is for beef cattle. We do, however, have excellent programs and products designed for dairy cattle, sheep, goats and equine, as well.
The time in which calves are weaned is typically based on their age or weight or because “that is when it has always been done.” While the majority of cattle producers in the U.S. and Canada wean calves at around 205 days of age, or 7 months, situations may arise in which weaning calves early may be beneficial for the condition of the cowherd, the pasture or forage availability and marketing opportunities.
The majority of CRYSTALYX self-fed supplements are designed for beef cattle on pasture, with several specialty products for calving, weaning and growing cattle. Early in the development of the CRYSTALYX product line, ranchers recognized the benefits of nutrient delivery, ease of use and the time savings associated with using CRYSTALYX when supplementing their cattle. They also noticed that the horses liked the molasses-based product but had concerns about whether a beef product was adequate for their horses.
I believe everyone is ready to put the winter and spring of 2020 behind us. We now see green grass everywhere and we are waiting for the economy to reboot. Hopefully, beef demand, consumption, exports and slaughter capacity will get back to whatever we once thought was “normal.”