On the Blog

Don’t gamble: The cost of no supplement

I was recently in Las Vegas for an event with a long time distributor of CRYSTALYX® and valuable customer. I’ve been to Las Vegas several times and it is a fun place. Entertainment and gambling as we know is what makes money in Las Vegas. I often hear stories from people who brag about how much money they make gambling, but they are only the lucky few. If gambling paid for the gambler, Vegas wouldn’t have much to offer.

Not supplementing cattle is a lot like gambling. Everyone wants to know what the cost of CRYSTALYX® is, and the benefits. Obviously! Still, have we considered the cost of not feeding CRYSTALYX® or the consequences therein?

The basic fundamental reason to supplement CRYSTALYX® in a beef cattle production system is to better utilize low quality forage.  The benefits from this are incremental. Better body condition = better calving and breeding success (calving distribution) and overall health = improved performance.

So what would not supplementing cost vs. the cost to feed a cow CRYSTALYX®? If we assume typical cost and consumption levels, a 150 day feeding program would be approximately $45-$60, more or less depending on the product.  The table below lists some cost estimates or opportunity costs due to inhibited performance etc. These may vary widely, much more so than the cost range of CRYSTALYX®.  CRYSTALYX® cost is more stable and less volatile making it easier to predict.

Per Head Estimates – Risk associated with not supplementing

Again, the numbers above are variable, and one could probably make the argument that some numbers I used are too conservative or may not be realized in just one season. The list could probably go on, but each category above can exceed the cost to feed CRYSTALYX®.  So, this is a good illustration of “spend a little and save a lot.” The question then becomes, “Okay, but can I supplement a different product or program for less than CRYSTALYX®?” Yes you can, but this is where gambling may occur, as you may not get the same result, especially if you’ve been on a CRYSTALYX® program and you know how it works.  The risk associated with changing a program increases because management usually changes, and there is often an underestimate of costs associated with supplement delivery like waste, equipment cost, storage, etc.  Other blogs written by my colleagues and I have addressed many of these issues in detail.

Overall, CRYSTALYX® has many proven products and programs that work under a wide range of conditions and applications. It is a supplement, not only for the cattle’s nutritional well-being but for the cattleman’s management well being too. Its now mid-summer, we have many different uses for CRYSTALYX® being applied right now; mineral supplement programs, fly control, forage utilization, stocker and heifer nutrition programs, fall calving, and soon to be weaning programs. It’s a diverse time of year and I can’t think of many other supplements like CRYSTALYX® that fit such a wide range of conditions. CRYSTALYX® does “Multi-Task” well, as written in a past blog.

So don’t leave money on the table and don’t gamble. Choose a good CRYSTALYX® Supplement program and use it with confidence.  Today’s cattle market is the best it’s probably ever been, and the odds for improved profitability are great -- and even better with CRYSTALYX® working for you.