In the Field

"The BioBarrel sure is easy to use."

For more than two years Brian and Janet Brockberg of Pipestone, Minnesota, have been supplementing their beef cow-calf operation with CRYSTALYX® products. BGF-30™ is the mainstay for the beef cow herd, while Brigade® is used for calves at weaning and cows near calving, and Crystal-Phos®, is the mineral supplement program.

Late in the summer of 2006 the Brockberg’s put a new barrel in their pastures, a BioBarrel® with BGF-30™ in the new, Single Trip Container (STC®).

“The BioBarrel® sure is easy to use,” Brian said. “It’s convenient because we have to place BGF-30™ in six different pastures. We still like the steel barrels and will continue to use them in the winter, but the BioBarrel® makes a lot of sense for us in the summer months.”

Consistent consumption wasn’t an issue, as the BGF-30™ in the BioBarrel® was consumed at ¾ pound per-head, per-day. The same level of consumption as the rate for steel barrels.

“CRYSTALYX® has been a good supplement,” Brian said. “It has worked better for us than past supplement programs. We have an effective year-round program, starting with Brigade® 45 days prior to calving. We use Crystal-Phos® in the spring through to late summer when we switch to BGF-30™ through winter until pre-calving.

“Cattle seem to more satisfied, less hungry and less anxious at feeding times when we use CRYSTALYX®. We noticed the change right after we started using it, because the cows cleaned better after calving and the calves were more vigorous. Healthy calves are the most important part of the equation.”

The Brockbergs buy their CRYSTALYX® from the Luverne Farm Store in Luverne, Minnesota, where Kurt Elbers says he has witnessed a lot of success with many local producers who have CRYSTALYX® programs similar to the Brockbergs.