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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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The nutritional needs of cows increase by 25 percent to 35 percent after calving compared to late gestation. For many producers, this postpartum period comes at a time when they are still feeding stored forages.

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Forage is a beef producer’s greatest resource, but sometimes it needs to be stretched or alternatives considered and fed when Mother Nature is less than cooperative.

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According to a recent study performed at Padova University on beef cattle, organic selenium supplementation (Alkosel3000 from Lallemand) can improve meat processing quality and organoleptic qualities, when compared to mineral selenium. The trial showed that organic selenium, not only enhanced the animal anti-oxidant status, but also improved meat tenderness and visual aspect, in line with consumer expectations, and reduced drip loss for the processor. This is an excellent illustration of the ‘farm-to-fork’ benefits of a natural feed additive and additional proof of organic selenium’s superior bioavailability.

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Often, it is the way rations are fed rather than their composition that leads to digestive upset in horses. Even under the best of management, several anatomical peculiarities of the horse’s digestive tract predispose horses to digestive disorders such as colic and founder.

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The following is a fictional story based on real results from a three-year university study.*

Two neighboring ranchers met often at the local coffee shop to argue the merits of their different approaches to cow-calf management. Tom Tightfist was convinced that cutting feed expenses was the only way to improve profits, while his buddy, Sam Spendabuck, believed increasing inputs would net better returns. It was a friendly but passionate argument.

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In less than 40 years, there will be 9.3 billion people on this earth. And, obviously, those people need to be fed. But 2050 will also mean less land, less water and likely a continued unstable world economy.

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