Feed Lot

APR-MAY 2018

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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FEED•LOT April/May 2018 11 Rotator® Technology for Pivot Irrigation Mitigate Dust & Cool the Herd with Nelson Big Gun® Sprinklers, Control Valves & TWIG® Wireless Controls nelsonirrigation.com / Tel: +1 509.525.7660 Automation The Original Big Gun® Sprinkler That doesn't mean you need to buy the highest-priced bull or one with the best EPDs. The ramifications on the efficiency side may not work in your program." If you are breeding for replace- ments, maybe consider other in- dexes, he said. "EPDs are great tools, and we are further advanced than ever. But a better understanding of how to use them is important. And under- stand how you are changing your herd with those genetics." Genetics have changed, and Hel- dt and Farmer said to ask yourself if you have changed your program. It shouldn't be the same program from 20 years ago, they said. "As you improve your herd, if you select for bigger cattle, you've got to be ready to improve your nutrition, and understand the im- plications of that," Farmer said. "What you're selecting for now are decisions that will affect you for 10 to 15 years down the road." FL be way better off feeding a month earlier, with less later because of how the forage shapes up." Supplementing cattle based on forage quality and cow require- ments instead of the calendar is key. "There are more efficient ways to provide supplemental nutrients at more advantageous times. No one year is exactly like the next," he said. From a mineral perspective, not keeping quality mineral out year round doesn't make sense, said Heldt. "It's a really small portion of the overall ranch budget for 3 to 4 ounces a day of something that can have a huge benefit in ensuring op- timal status for the cow to use how she needs it (health, reproduction, growth, etc). It's not that costly and will really help the cattle." He said it comes back to how much I can spend, and when do I need to spend it. "Be creative and understand when the key issue times are, like fetal development and rebreeding. If I need to skip for a few months due to the budget, be wise when and how you do that, and make sure you are using highly available, low rumen reactive mineral sourc- es," Heldt said. Farmer also said ranchers should use due diligence when selecting breeding stock. "Understand EPDs.

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