There have been bouts of cold weather episodes this winter ranging from short, tolerable conditions to extreme almost unbearable extended cold with little relief. We still have several months where temperatures can influence cow herd condition and it is extremely important to successfully manage through them, especially for spring calving cow herds.
A couple of years ago, I posed the following question: What do BioBarrels®, 48 row corn planters, GPS and net wrap have in common? They all allow one person to do much more than you could, 10 or 20 years ago.
Most of you have probably walked into your local feed store or glanced at your current price list and gotten a shock at how much prices have shot up in the last few months. A global vitamin shortage (particularly vitamin A) has set the feed industry on edge. This shortage is expected to continue well into 2018.
Has anyone noticed the increased cost of supplements and manufactured feeds lately? What's the reason? Vitamin costs. In beef cattle nutrition, it seems a lot of attention is given and information is reported, regarding the importance of nutrients like protein, macro and trace minerals, fats and carbohydrates (starch and sugar).
Recent studies cite that 83.9% of the cattle at harvest showed signs of chronic oxidative stress. What role do chelated trace minerals have in improving oxidative balance and how can we help cattle reach their full genetic potential?
This is a topic that I have tried on several occasions to write about but thought that it might be too ambiguous in terms of what could possibly be written that would seem valuable enough or intriguing enough to be read by cow-calf producers. What has kept this topic simmering on the backburner have been observations not only at work but also with my kids at home.
A customer very familiar with how well CRYSTALYX® Brigade® works on stressed calves at weaning time, once told me, “There are only two things wrong with Brigade®, it doesn’t cost enough, and it is too easy.” While that is humorous, there is a lot of truth in that statement. Brigade® will cost about 14 cents per head per day. In a typical 28 day receiving period, that is about $4 per head.
The sale barn is a great way for producers to discover the value of their calves, yet it can have a negative connotation when talking about animal health. The trip to and from as well as the sights, sounds and smells of the sale barn put stress on the animals, resulting in challenges to the immune system. However, cattlemen can give their animals a helping hand by providing them with proper nutrition to support immune function and gut health.
The cow calf producer is faced with the perpetual question of how to market the calf crop and maximize profit potential. The answer varies each year depending on the forage situation, management capabilities and current economics of the beef market. More calves are on the market with the expanded cow herd. On many operations calves are marketed at or shortly after weaning, and there is typically a glut of calves available in October and November which historically has the lowest calf prices of the year. Feeder cattle prices typically improve in the spring months compared to the seasonal low at weaning. What is required to hold calves to a later date, market them at a heavier weight, and increase the income per calf?