Mineral supplementation should not be considered an expense but an investment. In a cow-calf operation, the most critical factors affecting the financial sustainability of the business are nutrition and reproduction. Good nutrition leads to improved reproduction, and therefore a strong nutrition program helps ensure the economic sustainability of your operation.
With today’s genetics, cattle can grow faster than ever. That means that nutrition, particularly mineral nutrition, is more important than ten years ago. If you want them to reach their full genetic potential, you have to give them the nutrition required to support this growth. A mineral program becomes even more important ahead of the calving season.
Cows start to produce colostrum 5-6 weeks before calving. A good mineral program can help increase the quality of that colostrum. At Valleyview Co-op, our goal is to help you create and provide a balanced diet. A balanced diet will optimize feed and nutrient use. While perfect balance is impossible, we want to meet all requirements as closely as possible.
Cattle can only perform up to the level of the limiting nutrient.
- Water — check water.
- Energy — required for motion & production. This is the primary signal for reproduction.
- Protein — feed the rumen and provide body structure
- Vitamins & Minerals — required for maintenance, growth, reproduction, gestation, & lactation
Forages & grains alone will not provide adequate levels of all necessary vitamins & minerals.
Correcting mineral deficiencies takes time. Sub-clinical losses may have already occurred before clinical signs present themselves. Clinical deficiencies are not the significant loss of income to the cow/calf producer but account for sub-clinical losses. By the time the clinical symptoms are apparent, it has already cost a lot of money. You only see the tip of the “Ice Berg.” Sub-clinical losses include:
- Reduced growth
- Poor performance
- Lowered reproductive efficiency
- Reduced vaccination response
Although this can seem like an overwhelming undertaking, our Team at Valleyview Co-op can guide you through all the steps towards meeting those nutritional needs. We can have a coffee and a good chat about taking those first steps towards more balanced nutrition. Visit any of our Farm and Ranch locations in Virden, Kenton or Pierson to find out more. If time is an issue, you can contact Alvin Radcliff today at 204-748-2843.