The Drought of the Central Dakotas is spreading to Nebraska and Eastern Montana. The change from an El Nino to a La Nina, can mean that much of the rest of the summer could be very dry in the Western and Plains States. Drier days are also likely ahead of us in the Corn Belt.
The management of a mineral program is often grossly underestimated or under-appreciated– especially in free-choice programs for grazing cattle. Poor management leads to compromised mineral programs ending up with improper intake, excess waste, increased cost and/or poor cattle performance. In most cases, a poorly managed mineral program is just a waste of money. So how can we improve mineral management? CRYSTALYX® has some simple answers but first let’s look at some of the problems
No one likes to hear the “D” word and I don’t mean Dallas or even Divorce. We all know it as Drought! Many parts of the US don’t have to worry about drought now as moisture conditions this spring have been very generous. That is fortunate for many cattle producers as much of the pasture production as well as forages for hay crops, are greatly impacted by spring moisture conditions. Unfortunately, there is one area that has been dealing with Spring weather conditions that have been getting drier and drier. That is the Upper Plains States.
As feed professionals and nutritionist, we often look at CRYSTALYX® supplementation to improve forage utilization, provide key nutrients, deliver additives like fly control compounds, or apply a strategy targeted at specific performance parameters (weaning or breeding). One other very valuable tool CRYSTALYX® provides, and has been researched extensively, is that of Grazing Distribution.
May is Beef Month. It’s a time to celebrate all that the beef industry has to offer, regardless of breed or management. To celebrate the industry we all love, I offer you 10 things to share about cattle that your non-ag friends may not know.
Driving this week it was very apparent that spring has arrived and cattle will be turned out to pasture very soon in many areas. Tractors were in the fields completing manure application with tillage and planting equipment starting once soils begin to dry up a bit. Increased activities over the next few weeks signal a critical time in many agricultural production systems and this is especially true for the cow calf sector. A couple of the benefits of CRYSTALYX® Self Fed Supplements are the saving time compared to hand fed supplements and the added confidence of consistent nutrient delivery during critical production phases.
It’s the time of year we see more attention to the topic of good fly control whether it be from advertising, producer meeting and seminar topics, blogs such as this, and others. CRYSTALYX® has a variety of supplement formulas that deliver three different feed through fly control additives, Rabon® Oral Larvicide, Altosid® (IGR), and Clarifly®. They all work well but have some different applications depending on fly control strategies. Still, no matter the fly control compound being delivered, CRYSTALYX® is a convenient and effective way to combine fly control with a self-fed supplement all in one package.
Cattle on pasture. There is something iconic, almost romantic, about a herd of cattle spread across a lush, green pasture with the wind dancing through the grass. Grazing cattle is the foundation of the cattle industry, the heart and soul, steeped in tradition. Many producers take advantage of placing growing or stocker cattle on pasture; each adding their own spin on the age-old tradition.
CRYSTALYX® supplements are highly palatable which contributes to several benefits related to grazing management. Cattle like the stuff and will seek it out! Strategic placement of barrels can modify where beef cattle graze and impact resting behavior in pasture and open range settings. A dairy free stall barn is a much smaller and confined setting but recent finds show that where barrels are placed does impact cow movement and behavior, even when abundant quantities of a TMR diet is offered in a restricted housing environment.
The fly season has started in the southern US and will soon be working its way north as temperatures begin to warm up. There are several reasons why proper fly control can help increase your cow-calf returns primarily by impacting final calf weights. This can be a result of several factors like improved health, less energy expended on non-productive activities, cattle behavior, etc. More on these in a minute. The new VFD Veterinary Feed Directive may change how cattle producers had been typically supplementing their cattle on grass. This makes fly control this summer even more critical to manage.