On the Blog

Grazing management technology moves into the robotic dairy barn

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.

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Why fly control this year is important

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.

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Is sulfur an issue In CRYSTALYX?

I recently had a question about the amount of sulfur in a CRYSTALYX® block, and is that level something we should be concerned with?  The short answer is “no”, but let’s dig a little deeper.

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Continuing the convenience and cost savings of CRYSTALYX supplement programs

CRYSTALYX® Brand Supplements offers a wide range of product options that economically deliver nutrients and additives to your cattle.   The consistent and predictable intake control is the primary means of controlling cost.  However, a big part of the economical delivery is due to reduced labor, reduced time invested, and NO need for additional equipment.  The “barrel” is the feeding equipment.   

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Veterinary feed directive rules are here

Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rules took effect January 1, 2017. Some of you may have gone to your local feed store to purchase a medicated feed or medicated supplement, only to be told that they could not sell it to you without your VFD paperwork.

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4 words for 2017

As 2016 comes to a close, we can look back and wish for the golden days of the cattle market, or we can look to what’s just beyond the horizon. We all know what good looking back does, so here are a few words/concepts to consider as we enter a new year, a new market cycle, new rules on feeding cattle and a new administration.

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Tips for livestock producers dealing with drought

Drought has made this a tough year for many livestock producers in southern Appalachia. Drought-affected pastures rarely produce adequate amounts of forage. Hay is in short supply and what's available tends to be of below-average quality. Drought-stressed plants tend to be nutrient deficient, especially in protein, phosphorus and vitamin A.

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Beef production and technology

Technology is everywhere. Our homes are wireless, tractors all but drive themselves, and you can even get reminders on your phone to put out fresh barrels. As much as technology is readily accepted in other areas everyday life, there is hesitation when it comes to technology and food production. Public concern over the use of feed additives in food animals is high with those outside the ag community. However, what would happen if the growth enhancing technology (GET) we take for granted in cattle production (ionophores, implants, etc.) where no longer available?

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Grazing crop residue and stock piled pasture can help minimize feeding cost

The current cattle economics situation is making everyone evaluate their feeding programs and overall production cost.  Markets have their cycles and it is hard to say how long this period of low prices will last, given how quickly markets have moved in the last 2-3 years.  As you look at your feeding program, remember it is the cost per pound of product sold that is the true driver of profitability.

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Sustainability in the beef industry: Where do you stand?

I like to focus my blogs around timely nutrition and management topics for beef cow-calf producers whenever I can.  My motivation is mainly to provide useful information that can help keep beef producers in business today and in the future.  However, I thought I might take a break from that theme with a few observations related to the “Sustainability” term that keeps coming at us with increasing intensity.

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