Several CRYSTALYX® blogs have been topics surrounding “volatility” in our business and how it is more or less the norm these days. I think the weather we’ve had in the past couple of years could be summarized much the same. From floods to drought to extreme heat and cold and late spring blizzards, it reminds me of a common saying I here almost everywhere I travel, “we sure have had a weird ____ “ (fill in the blank and pick your season of year).
With the high price of nitrogen and today’s economy, let’s face it, pastures and hay fields don’t always get fertilized like they should. But other than harvesting fewer tons of forage, it doesn’t really matter that much, right? Or does it? What if you knew that lack of nitrogen fertilization directly correlated with Fescue Toxicity symptoms?
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.
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.