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Making the most of summer pastures with Tasco

There’s no denying it, the summer months seems to speed by, especially when you live in a northern climate. Forage quality can disappear just as fast as summer when temperatures rise and seed heads appear. Cow performance can trail off too. As the days get hotter, she’s more likely to seek shade or the pond rather than graze. Both late summer issues can be combatted by adding a protein supplement with Tasco® to your pastures.

What is Tasco®?

Tasco® is a marine plant-derived feed ingredient made of Ascophyllum nodsum (large brown seaweed) harvested from Canada’s North Atlantic coast. Tasco® differs from other kelp products in that it comes from a specific species, which only grows in North Atlantic waters, and is backed by 15 years of research.

How can Tasco® help my cattle?

The answer is two-fold, let’s start with forage digestibility. By now, you’ve heard us mention the importance of supplementing protein to cattle on low quality forages. As we get into late summer, grasses are starting to decrease in quality. Whether that decrease is cause by drier conditions or mature plants, low quality forages mean less available nutrients for you cattle and can lead to a decrease in production.

Research conducted at North Dakota State University took supplementing protein on low quality forages a step further by adding Tasco® to a low moisture block. The treatments consisted of a low quality hay along with no supplement, protein only supplement (35% CP), Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract bolus, Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract in the protein supplement and Tasco® in the protein supplement. As noted in the chart below, just adding protein increased organic matter digestibility. The addition of Tasco® further increases digestibility.

A study at North Dakota State University showed a 10% rise in fiber and organic matter digestibility when Tasco® was combined with CRYSTALYX® 35% protein supplement.

The second answer has to do with heat tolerance. Tasco® has demonstrated a positive effect on body temperature during heat challenges. A two year study conducted at Mississippi State University showed that grazing cow/calf pairs supplemented with Tasco® tended to have lower body temperatures under heat stress conditions. This means that when it gets hot, momma is still grazing, milk production doesn’t taper off and the calf keeps gaining.

Beyond improved forage utilization, a study at Mississippin State University showed cow/calf pairs had lower body temperature and lower respiration rates with Tasco® in the supplement.

What products come with Tasco®?

CRYSTALYX® brand supplements offer three low moisture blocks with Tasco®. There are 2 options for producers who graze fescue pastures: Fescue-Phos® mineral supplement with the addition of chelated trace minerals, for those times of the year that protein is not limiting, and Hi-Mag Tasco®-lyx™ protein supplement, for when protein supplementation is needed. Tasco® 35-CP is a protein supplement that is ideal for non-fescue pastures where protein is needed. All three products combine the proven consistent, whole herd intakes of CRYSTALYX® with benefits of increased forage digestibility and heat tolerance from Tasco®. For additional information on the CRYSTALYX® brand supplements with Tasco®, or any of our supplements, contact your CRSYTALYX® dealer or visit our website at crystalyx.com.