When considering mineral supplementation, one of the more costly nutrients is phosphorus. One may be tempted to skimp on the phosphorus level in a mineral, thinking that forages will make up for it. That can be a costly decision when you consider that phosphorus has a significant role in reproductive efficiency and growth and it’s the most prevalent mineral deficiency in grazing livestock.
My last blog dealt with heat stress and dairy cattle. Heat stress will impact the beef cow and growing cattle. The most obvious negative impact is when 1000 pound fat cattle start dropping in the feed lot. However, reproductive and immune function will be can be diminished due to heat stress. Now is the time to prepare for management and nutrition changes that will help our beef cattle handle the heat.
Warmer weather is a welcome relief from the long winter and a cooler than normal spring in many areas of the country. In parts of the Midwest, we experienced early May snows followed within 2 week by summer like temperatures. Most people welcome the return to the 70s or 80s; however cattle and especially dairy cattle prefer the cooler temperatures. Now is the time to prepare for management and nutrition changes that will help our cattle handle the heat. I will address heat stress in dairy cattle in this week’s blog and then address some unique aspects of the impact of heat stress on beef cattle next week.
Being ‘green’ is all the rage now. Electric cars, canvas grocery bags and the local food movement all make people feel better about how they live. Amanda Radke, writer for Beef Magazine, points out that beef production has been green for a long while. Her recent editorial has inspired my blog for the week of Earth Day.
For me, College NCAA Basketball is one thing that makes it possible to get through March and April. This year has been especially fun. Who knew what would happen. A number 11, three 12s, a 13, a 14 and a 15 all won. The Final Four had only one number 1 seed. How did these lower ranked teams win? They played the whole game. Many games went to the wire with teams fighting to the end.
Drought followed by Grass Tetany. Sound like a contradiction? It can happen, especially when pastures were grazed heavily during a drought and /or during dormancy. Spring growing conditions, combined with some moisture on relatively “denuded” pasture ground, means the only forage that’s available to grazing cattle is the lush fast growing new grass. In ideal grazing conditions, there would normally be some old growth or residual forage that gets grazed along with new grass at turnout. This helps dilute or minimize the amount of new grass being consumed; the new grass which poses the greatest risk to magnesium deficiency or Grass Tetany.
For many of us that have been around cattle the biggest risk is becoming complacent and not putting safety first. Agriculture is a dangerous occupation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and The Center for Disease Control regularly collect injury and death rate information and the numbers are alarming. From 2003 to 2007, there were on average 583 agriculture related deaths per year. In 2011 agriculture had 557 deaths. Transportation and construction had more deaths, but agriculture had the highest death rate at 24.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. As the graphs below indicate, farming is the most dangerous occupation compared to other industries.
We’re excited to begin communicating with customers on the Block Blog! Our goal is to share timely information and to provide information to help you manage your livestock operation.
On these pages you’ll find information on nutrition related topics, strategies for improving animal performances and efficiencies, and methods for increasing profitability.
The answer is right now, today, if not sooner! Many of you have spring calving herds, and you have probably already weaned this year’s calves, or, you are about to. There are three main reasons that the time immediately after weaning is a great time to add condition to your cows, for very little investment.
We are still a long way off from knowing the final effects of the most widespread drought in the United States in more than 50 years. Given current market volatility and fears of feed shortages, it only makes sense to do everything in your power to make the most of available feedstuffs. Below are a list of tips that can help you make the most efficient use of available feed.