Nutritionists, along with producers, are always on the lookout for the next big thing to really improve livestock performance. In the case of nutritionists, we’re looking for products that pack a bigger nutritional punch per pound. Organic trace minerals are one of those advances that do bring a little more to the table. But what is an organic trace mineral?
Vitamin D is often known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it is synthesized in response to exposure to sunlight. There are two major natural sources of vitamin D, cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) and ergocalciferol (vitamin D2). Vitamin D3 is synthesized in the skin of many herbivores and omnivores upon exposure to UV light from sunlight. Vitamin D2 is not found in green forages, but is formed when the dying leaves are exposed to sunlight. Thus, sun cured hay is a good dietary source of vitamin D2. Livestock utilize vitamin D3 much more efficiently than vitamin D2.
While it’s true that Agriculture is enjoying some record or near record dollar receipts for commodity goods, input costs are rising and thus need to be managed. Everything costs more these days. From fuel to food, no one can escape all the rising costs.In this economy, we should all be challenged to find what the best buy is for the dollar and match purchases to our needs, goals and objectives.
Everyone I know hates weeds. I’ve spend countless hours with my grandmother pulling dandelions and crab grass, her most hated enemies. Pastures are no different. Cattle producers want to look over their pasture and see a sea of lush, green grasses and legumes. So what happens when the scene is darkened with brush and broadleaf weeds? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to utilize the weeds to maximize the available forage?
As we near the end of the winter feeding period, sometimes we have to make tough choices regarding use of moldy hay. Horses and other non-ruminants are most susceptible to mold toxicity and should not be fed moldy hay except under the most dire situations.