Let's Talk Minerals

October 7, 2019


Just yesterday a member of the sales team heard a cattle producer make the comment “I only buy the cheapest mineral, if any, because I don’t think my cattle need it and all mineral is the same anyway.” As a cattle producer myself and being in feed sales this comment made me cringe. With tough markets and needing every possible healthy, live calf we can get, minerals play a vital role starting at conception. A few weeks ago I posted a blog about year round calving meaning we must have our cows bred back every year and cycling 90 days after calving. Without the use of mineral this is difficult and may lead to lost performance and profit potential.  The myth that grass provides everything a cow needs has been proven wrong by several studies done on the changes of grass quality throughout the year.

Research done at Purina Animal Nutrition show the cattle offered organic trace minerals breed back sooner, have increased conception rates and reproductive performance early in the breeding season, have less disease in calves, and have better average daily gains. While the investment of mineral may seem costly, break it down to cost per head per day and the performance gained in return.  When suggesting a mineral, I start by explaining phosphorus levels in each mineral. This time of year, a 12 phos mineral will become more popular, where a lower level is used during hi mag season, and usually a 7.5 phos is used during the summer months as it can be combined with options such as altosid (fly control) or Availa 4.  I encourage producers to know what normal intakes should be with each mineral option they choose.

Some minerals are bitter causing some cows to under consume. Also, some cows may over consume due to an imbalance. If a cow is craving a certain ingredient it will consume until satisfied. Consumption can also be controlled by management. Placement of mineral feeders near loafing areas or water may cause over consumption as well as smaller confined pastures. For these situations, a cooked tub may be a better choice vs loose mineral. If in a large area, keep in mind a tub or feeder needs to be placed for every 20-30 head.

I encourage producers to visit with your local CVA feed sales specialist and review what your cow herds requirements are throughout the seasons and put a program together. We also have the ability to compare different mineral tags to see where they stack up. As a reminder, right now Central Valley Ag has their fall mineral promotion going on until Dec. 1, 2019. For each ton or pallet of mineral purchased a producer will receive a $25 gift card to Cabelas/Bass Pro Shop and for every 5 ton of starter feed containing the new RX3 technology from Purina or 1 ton of Supermix RX3 purchased, a vest will be earned. Now is the time to invest in your cow herd.
 
by Brandi Salestrom
Posted: 10/7/2019 9:16:44 PM by Kristin Petersen | with 0 comments


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