The key factor that drives the profitability of the cattle industry is POUNDS sold. Due to the higher cost and volatility of the corn market, there is an industry shift to put more POUNDS on calves before they enter the feed yard. This shift has created an excellent opportunity for the cow calf operation.
It is spring time, and I see equipment being prepared for the work ahead. Conversations at meetings and local coffee shops have centered on planting intentions. It is evident some parts of the country will have less pasture available. As you evaluate at your cattle operation and management plan for opportunities to add more pounds to your calves, the next question should be how to get more gains on forage.
The goal of this blog is to share ideas, management tips and challenge conventional practices with the goal of improved forage utilization and animal performance. The utilization of forage has gone beyond just turning the cows out to pasture. Innovations in grass varieties, cover crop options and grazing crop residue can greatly expand the forage seasons. Matching the forage available and various supplement options to the biological need of your cows and calves is the goal of an integrated forage and cow calf management plan. This approach will encompass weaning larger calves that are born earlier in your defined calving season; modifying the calving season to match cow’s nutrient demand to the quality and quantity of forage available; extending grazing by adopting new technologies in grazing management; maximizing calf weights by back grounding to capture some additional low cost gains.
CRYSTALYX® brand supplements provide needed nutrients and can be a valuable management tool to help accomplish most of these strategies to get more gains on grass. Self-fed CRYSTALYX® brand supplements formulas can positively impact;
- Reproductive performance of cows and bulls
- Utilization of pasture thought improved fiber digestibility
- Utilization of pasture thought modifying grazing patterns
- Fly control allowing for un-interrupted grazing and reduced animal stress