Spring calving is in full swing, has just wrapped up or will soon be behind us. In an effort to keep thinking multiple steps ahead, one should be giving their cow-herd’s spring/summer mineral program some thought now to determine what can be done to help maintain optimal cow reproduction with early breed back rates while still maximizing calf health and growth performance.
With bulls entering breeding pastures in the weeks ahead, cattlemen can easily understand the impact of a good overall herd conception rate on their bottom line. However, another reproductive measurement that can directly affect ranch profitability is calving distribution.
In many parts of the Southeast and southern Midwest U.S., Kentucky 31 (KY-31) Tall Fescue is the primary forage used for grazing cattle, representing over 35 million acres of grazing land. While it has many attractive agronomic characteristics, including hardiness under varied climactic conditions, persistence under heavy animal pressure, tolerance to close grazing and resistance to insect pressure, there are several negative nutritional characteristics that impact cattle.
This time of year, we get a lot of inquiries and opportunities to position feed through fly control programs. It’s important to know the differences between fly control options, product intake, additive concentration and true cost per head per day. Our CRYSTALYX® line has a wide array of fly control products to choose from, representing three different compounds that are available in the U.S.
As I write this, it’s hard for those of us in the upper Midwest to think about fly season. It just snowed, temperatures are more than 20 degrees below normal and there’s more snow in the extended forecast. However, Mother Nature will eventually get her act together and fly season will begin.
During several recent dealer meetings, intake has been a common topic of discussion. Talk has ranged from modifying total feed intake to the need for predictable intake of certain nutrients and additives to the control of self-fed supplements.
Springtime can be a very busy time for most all cattlemen. When you look at the nutrients that are critical for spring calving herds, this can get very busy as well. As I write this blog, we are getting yet another dose of wet snow here in Western South Dakota. Looking forward, the 7-day forecast shows a good chance of precipitation most every day. While we can sure use the moisture, cattlemen need to be ready for grass tetany to rear up.
Despite snowflakes flying through the air as I write this, spring green up has started in many parts of the country or is soon to come. With St. Patrick’s Day and spring arriving, it’s time to Celebrate the Green! Part of celebrating the green is looking at having strategies in place to make this a “green” and profitable year in your farm business.
Technology and agriculture. Most of us want to be known for being innovative, creative, having foresight or making a discovery. Progress is perhaps another term used for finding new solutions to old problems. In livestock nutrition, we’ve made numerous strides in the past 40-50 years.
Most spring calving herds are well into the calving season with busy days of tagging calves and weeks of less sleep due to those late night trips checking the calving pens. An important activity that needs to be part of the calving season is body condition scoring (BCS) the cows.