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Top 10 reasons to supplement beef cattle on pasture

  1. Forages may be deficient in nutrients that can limit animal performance whether it be cow reproductive efficiencies, calf health, and growth or stocker gains.
  2. Stocker cattle and replacement heifers can easily gain up to 10% more on grass if provided a feed additive such as Rumensin®, Bovatec® or GainPro®. There are a number of free-choice delivery methods available that have FDA approval for use in stocker cattle and replacement heifers.
  3. A variety of free-choice supplements provide EPA approved delivery of feed-through fly control larvacides or insect growth regulators that can help reduce losses in particular with the presence of horn flies. Some compounds have additional fly specie approval including, stable flies, house flies and face flies.
  4. Recent cattle market prices in combination with high grain prices have increased the urgency to get as much gain on forage-based programs as possible prior to cattle arriving in the feed yard. Supplements can greatly assist stocker operators in achieving aggressive weight gain to optimize pasture resources.
  5. Free-choice supplement may be strategically located in pastures to help improve forage utilization by getting the most out of your land and forage resources.
  6. Early in the growing season, Grass Tetany conditions can result in sudden death losses in mature lactating beef cows. Providing consistent delivery of a readily available Magnesium supplement can help prevent losses from Grass Tetany.
  7. Drought conditions, late in the growing season and especially with stockpiled winter pasture, protein content of the forages will most often drop below animal requirements and performance will be reduced. Small additions of protein supplement will improve forage digestibility and prevent animal performance losses.
  8. Mineral and vitamin supplementation on pasture is critical for maximizing animal performance and providing nutrients required for maintaining animal health.
  9. Organic or chelated forms of trace minerals can be beneficial where there are extreme deficiencies or levels of antagonizing minerals that interfere with the use of trace minerals required for optimum animal performance. Organic  forms of Copper and Zinc in a mineral supplement will help overcome mineral antagonists that can be present in certain regions of the country or water sources.
  10. High-producing purebred herds will require additional supplemental inputs to ensure that they perform to their genetic potential and maximize reproductive efficiencies.  Herds with greater than commercial market value are much more of an investment to protect and ensure that they have every opportunity to pass on their traits whenever possible.