In the Field

"You can buy a lot of supplement for the price of an open cow."

Kelly Froelich and his family ranch near Selfridge, ND in the South Central part of the state. Their operation is truly a family one, raising SimAngus™ cattle and registered Quarter horses.

CRYSTALYX® brand supplements have been part of the ranch operation since the drought year of 2002. “Cattle that summer were looking tough,” Kelly recalls, “And that’s when we started with CRYSTALYX®.” Hay from the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has been utilized as a forage resource by many ranches during drought years and that was the case for the Froelich Ranch. “We began supplementing CRYSTALYX® with the use of CRP hay and cattle responded very well. It was a tremendous turnaround in cow condition.” He explained. From that point on it was evident that CRYSTALYX® would work in a year round program. Today the CRYSTALYX® supplement program has evolved into using CRYSTALYX® BGF-30™ in late summer and fall grazing situations and HE-20%™ when feeding higher quality hay through the winter. Kelly explained his program as simply, “How you care for your cows in the winter really affects the subsequent year calf crop.”

The ranch is now using Crystal-Phos® mineral supplement 45 days prior to breeding. The results proved very beneficial as cattle were pregnancy checked in the fall of 2010; only 2.5% of cows were not bred, and these were primarily older cows. A large percentage bred on their 1st cycle. Overall, breeding efficiency on the ranch has been a steady improvement since the start of using CRYSTALYX® in 2002. “Cattle do well on CRYSTALYX® programs,” says Kelly. “Before using CRYSTALYX® we had 8-10% open cows per year; once being on the BGF-30™ and HE-20 products through fall and winter, we saw our percent opens drop to 4-5% and now it’s down to 2.5% since adding Crystal-Phos® in the spring.”

Many beef producers across Northern Plains who use CRYSTALYX® programs have cited similar experiences as the Froelich Ranch. “Open cows, other than feeding cost, are the most expensive part of cow-calf production. You can buy a lot of supplement for the price of an open cow.”

A sound nutrition and health program is key to any ranch’s success and the Froelich’s put this in practice. Customers who buy their calves do so because of healthy calves and the way they perform in the feedlot (steer calves) or as replacement heifers.