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Feed & Nutrition

Learn about all aspects of cattle nutrition from harvest and storage to balancing rations with forage, byproducts and supplements.

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When it comes to ensilage, most managers’ attention is given to the first part of the process: harvesting the crop at adequate forage stage of maturity and moisture.

This is coupled with the use of a research-proven microbial inoculant and fast filling, tight packing and adequate covering of the silo to ensure that the active phase of fermentation will start quickly and be as efficient and as short as possible.

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As the price of corn continues to hover around the historically high $8-per-bushel mark, feedyard concern about the performance of incoming cattle has never been greater.

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The beef industry in the U.S. has always been based on producing a high-quality, safe, wholesome product that appeals to the consumer’s palate.

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It has been forecast that more food must be produced in the next 40 years than in the prior history of the world to meet the needs of the growing world population.

Furthermore, these increases in food production need to occur in an era of agriculture that has greater regulations, reduced available land for production, dramatically increasing input costs and declining animal numbers.

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Back in basic nutrition class, we were introduced to the concept of “first limiting nutrient.”

Take a simplified example: if some calves were eating enough protein, minerals, and vitamins to support 3 pounds of daily gain, but only enough energy to support 2, they would gain . . . 2 pounds a day.

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Annual forages can be used for many purposes in cropping and livestock systems: to extend the grazing season for livestock, as the primary harvested feed, as a rotation crop between alfalfa, as a double crop with cereal grains, as a green manure for nutrients or as a cover crop for erosion or weed control.

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