On the Blog

A look back on 2014 and forward to 2015 in beef cow-calf business

This is certainly a year that all of us in the cow-calf business would like to soak up and see it never end:  A great time to be in the business for sure.  Whether you may be opting to pay down a little debt, maybe make one of those once in a life-time purchases, expand your herd a little, or add to the savings pot for an unforeseen occurrence down the road, it is nice to know there is a bit more discretionary income to deal with this year when compared to many in the past.  But that was 2014 and it is basically all but in the history books at this point.  Now onto 2015!

Before we look forward, I would like to thank all of you for your business and support of the CRYSTALYX® Brand Supplements product line.  We appreciate your trust in our products and please know that as we look forward to 2015 and beyond, we will do all that we can to make sure CRYSTALYX® Brand Supplements continue to provide value to you and your operation wherever you run livestock in North America.

So we basically have switched our November for December and our December for November, in terms of weather across much of the US.  I know I was feeling much more in the Christmas spirit at Thanksgiving given the temperature and snow cover in the Northern part of the US back in November.  As one looks at the extended forecast however, it appears that winter is back and temperatures are becoming more typical for this time of year.  My thermometer was reading 6 below zero when heading into work this morning before sun up, which convinces me that we still have plenty of winter ahead of us.

I realize that many of you have been using our CRYSTALYX® Body Condition score App to monitor your herd’s nutrition program by how well cows have been holding their body stores going from fall to winter.  If you haven’t, simply go to your Android or IPhone app store and download them.  Incidentally, it was recently voted one of the “must have” apps in Farmer Magazine.  It’s an easy way of measuring cow body condition at any point in time and then comparing differences during the year.  Make it a New Year’s resolution to track if not all, a few sentinel cows within your herd to make sure your forage and supplement programs are optimizing reproductive success that will maximize your income.  Just look at your calf check from this past year and remember that 2015 may not be far from that if you can keep your cows bred up and your calves healthy and growing.

Most of the Spring calving cow herds at this time of the year are either late in mid-gestation or somewhere in late-gestation with calving soon to start.  Make sure you have tested your stored forages in order to make prudent supplement selections going into this critical physiological stage of the cows life.  Unpredictable winter weather conditions can make this tricky if you are not prepared with some emergency forage reserves.  Protein nutrition is critical when using low and medium quality forages to ensure the rumen environment is set to efficiently ferment fiber and extract as much energy from these forages as possible to meet all of the requirements of both the cow and fetus.

In addition to supplying protein with CRYSTALYX® Brand Supplements you also get a strong mineral and vitamin package in every lick, not to mention the fact that  CRYSTALYX® eliminates your “need to feed” every day.  Just think of the expenses you save in labor, equipment and delivery by placing supplement every 10 to 14 days versus every day, every other day or even weekly.  Providing proper nutrition at the right time to your cow herd efficiently, while minimizing costs and freeing up your time…  What a great way to start off 2015!

Calving will soon be here.  Prepare your cows well and make sure they are in great shape to provide you not only healthy calves this year, but the ability to breed on time for setting up next year’s crop as well!  May 2015 be a prosperous year for you and your family!