Water is one of those things that we’re never really satisfied with. There is either too much, too little or it doesn’t come at the right time. Or it’s too expensive, tastes funny, is too hot — the list goes on and on. Still, we tend to take for granted that, when we open the tap, it will be there. Water is essential to life, yet we rarely discuss it in relation to nutrition.
We are well into the summer grazing season and I have started to see ads for back-to-school sales, which made me realize that fall is just around the corner. Summer is a time when we can slow down a little and enjoy family activities, such as trips to the lake or showing livestock at the county fairs.
Many beef cow producers have experienced ample moisture this summer, and their pasture conditions and availability are likely very good to excellent. Unfortunately, others have experienced drought conditions, with pastures drying up and forage supplies diminished. This summer has truly provided a tale of two pastures throughout the U.S. and Canada.
With summer finally upon us, and for those of you with spring calving herds, you are now building your 2019 calf crop. Hopefully, you have been using a good-quality mineral on your herd prior to breeding season. But if you haven’t, it is not too late to start a summer mineral program and reap the benefits from a higher level of nutrition.
Taking a dip in the lake, spending more time outdoors with loved ones or enjoying an ice-cold beverage are all part of the joys of summer. But, what may be fun for us may not be so pleasant for our livestock. We have entered the time of year when dairy and beef cattle are feeling the consequences of high temperatures and humidity.