Marvin Schultis is a cow-calf producer from southeastern Nebraska who has seen firsthand the benefits of using CRYSTALYX® Brand Supplements. For the past six years, the Schultis operation near Fairbury has relied on CRYSTALYX® to improve forage usage and cow performance while grazing corn stalks, grazed forage sorghums and pasture. The latest benefits have come from a research proven application of CRYSTALYX® to better manage grazing distribution at the Rock Glen Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
Rock Glen is a 760 acre WMA managed by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC). Only 160 of the total acres have had grazing exposure in recent years, while much of the remaining areas have not been grazed for nearly 14 years. During the 2006 and 2007 grazing seasons, Schultis worked closely with the NGPC staff using a CRYSTALYX® barrel placement system to better target cattle utilization in areas that had not seen grazing in previous years. The NGPC encouraged the use of this management practice to help attract cattle into underutilized areas and to minimize grazing traffic in riparian areas.
The WMA terrain is rough, steep and wooded in many areas. Previous and ongoing management practices by the NGPC include controlled burning to suppress eastern red cedar infestation and to improve species composition of grasses and forbs. Smooth brome grass has dominated some pasture areas where planned grazing has been implemented. This will help improve wildlife habitat and successive native species composition. Schultis and the NGPC used their experience in grazing practices to achieve their objectives.
Schultis strategically placed CRYSTALYX® BGF-30™ supplement in areas of the pasture where cattle typically would not travel in normal grazing patterns. Some of these areas were nearly three-quarters of a mile from the nearest water source in rough, steep terrain. After only 30 days of grazing 130 cow-calf pairs, Schultis and the NGPC noticed that cattle traveled to these underutilized areas to consume CRYSTALYX® and graze.
"After about 30 days of grazing in late summer, we noticed very little old grass or aftermath and new green grass was coming back in areas where we used the barrels," Schultis said.
"We accomplished what the NGPC wanted, to clean up old grass; and next year we plan to graze even other areas of the pasture using CRYSTALYX® barrels to best manage the grass," Schultis said "We’ve also noticed that in the 160 acres of the WMA that have been grazed for three years now, the smooth brome dominance has lessened while more native grasses look like they are moving back in."
Whether it be the improvement of grazing distribution or the addition of more days to graze pasture or planted forages, Schultis has relied on CRYSTALYX® to better manage all forage programs.
"It helps all areas of our grazing and forage management."