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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
It’s no secret this fall is a different fall than the past two or three regarding the cattle market. The pressure is on to scrutinize cost, not just feed, but all costs. My neighbor brought some cows to our place for fall pasture this past weekend and commented that, “not many new pickups will be sold this fall.”
It’s hard to believe that we’re already in October. Three months remain in 2016 and three months remain before the VFD rule goes into effect. While this rule change does not affect any CRYSTALYX® products, we want to be sure that you are well versed in what will be affected and what you will need to do. Below are 5 more questions that have come from the field as the deadline draws near.