On the Blog

We are down to the final minutes in the 4th quarter: Don't stop now

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.

Much like the basketball players in the final minutes, cattle producers cannot stop investing in proper nutrition for the cow herd during spring calving season.  Many cows are in the last trimester of pregnancy.  This is a critical time for nutrient transfer to the calf.  The cow will transfer trace minerals from her body reserves to the calf.  The calf’s mineral status at birth is critical for optimum immune function and growth in the first months of life.  This is especially true for copper and zinc.  The young calf is on a milk diet and milk is a poor source of the trace minerals copper and zinc. Grass is also low in copper and zinc.  The CRYSTALYX® Breed Up™ product line is designed to provide added trace mineral and vitamin E during the pre-calving through breeding season.  The Breed Up™ 20 and 28 provide protein and mineral where the Breed Up™ Max is a mineral only supplement.   Breed Up™ 17 Mag has been added for the areas that need additional magnesium.

Less than a minute to go!  Down by 3! Hay supplies are tight.  It costs too much!!

The 2012 hay acreage was down 20% from 2011.  It was the smallest harvested area since 1948.  The December 1 crop report showed supplies of less than 77 million ton, which was the smallest December 1 amount since 1957.   This winter weather from January to April was cold for most of cattle country and cattle went through some feed.  There is not a great deal of hay left and what is available is expensive.  The severity of the hay situation was demonstrated to me this week.  In Western Wisconsin, I followed a load of what had to be 2-3 year old hay that had been in someone’s fence row.  It was traveling west on Interstate 94.  No strings were left and the load was secured with straps and a cargo net.  The tractor and trailer were from Nebraska.

Cows in late pregnancy and early lactation need the best forage and supplements possible.  If you are buying hay it may be tempting to “save” some money by skipping the supplement.  Actually, CRYSTALYX® can help stretch forage supplies by improving fiber digestibility, while providing the additional mineral and vitamins the cows and calves need.  Research has shown a 10% improvement in fiber digestibility which will allow your cows to get more out of the hay.   Cheating the cows now can cause too much weight loss and poor breed back later, which can be really costly.

Much like a basketball game, we cannot stop before the buzzer sounds.