Last updated on April 12th, 2024 at 03:54 pm

Boone Huffman

Boone Huffman

Chadron, NE

Riomax® Customer Since 2015

Herd Details

  • 1,100 hd commercial cow/calf operation
  • 1,000 stockers
  • Intensive grazes on 800 acres of grass & hayfield regrowth

Fast Facts

  • Doubled Grazing Period
  • Increased Revenue by $98,777
  • 63/63 Bulls Passed Exam
  • No Cleaning Issues & Reduced Calf Sickness
  • Increased Weaning Weights by 20-30 Pounds
  • Conception Rates Increased 10-12%

The Story

I first heard about Riomax in 2015 when I saw an advertisement on Superior Livestock.

We ranch in sandhills country, in and around the Tryon area, and then we also ranch up in Chadron, just south of the South Dakota border. We only calve at our Chadron place for 20 days, and then everything that’s late goes down to Tryon. That group of cows is the highest milking, the highest frame, and the least fertile. I was having a crazy open rate of 20-22% on that herd, whereas our herd up in Chadron was running 2-4% open. So that’s why I really started Riomax. It also was pretty much the only tub that qualified my NHTC and grassfed program when I quit implanting.

The upfront price is the hardest thing. When I first heard what it cost I thought, “there’s no way you’ll ever get that back”. I’m a low input rancher and I wanted the lowest inputs for my operation. The problem when I first tried it was I wasn’t committed to it; I only used it for part of the year on some groups, so I didn’t see the results and didn’t think it paid.

When I finally started year-round, that’s when I started seeing results that paid for the product plus. Our weaning weights went up 30 pounds. Even my dad’s calves, who are on poorer grass, were 20 pounds heavier than previous years. Our open rate went from 15% down to 5% on our first calf heifers on a 40-day breed. This spring we tested 63 bulls and not one failed the exam.

Just the increase in conception rates and weaning weights alone paid for the Riomax® product. But there’s more.

I did a trial study over the last 2 years based in Chadron. We worked in 720 acres of grass and 80 acres of hayfield regrowth. In 2020, we ran 240 large framed, spayed heifers but did not use Rio on that group. Not that I was against Rio, but I just had this in plan and wanted to follow through and see if it would show up.

We run an intensive grazing program and have 17 pastures on our 800 acres. This year, we put out 360 first calf heifer pairs, expecting that it would last them about 2 months. We had them on the Riomax and they were actually consuming under 1/8 of a pound, the grass was really good.

By the time we got through our first rotation, it looked like we basically had as much grass as we began with. After 2.5 -3 months, my hired man said, well I thought we were going to summer pastures. I said we are, but this thing’s going and I wanna see what it can end up doing if we stick on it! We ended up on there for 4 months. That’s 30-40% in-creased usage—on a drought year!
So we’re running on about 7.5-8 acres per cow per year, and the county average is between 13-20 acres.

Keep in mind, we did not own a cow 15 years ago. I grew up ranching, but I left it because you work too hard, you don’t make enough money, you never see your family, and you don’t make all the ballgames. I just really didn’t want to live my life like that. Long story short, I worked my way back into it. But we do things untraditionally all the time. If someone tells me something won’t work, I take on the challenge. And sometimes they’re right—sometimes things don’t work, but that’s the way I approach it.

Riomax is not a miracle product. But I have used everything on the market, and the only reason I finally decided to become a dealer is because I had 100% belief that this is the best product on the market for efficiency and health in the cattle industry. And I think it’s a game-changer for guys that are willing to use it year round. If you commit to the year-round program, you will see results.

I’m not trying to get rich on this product by any means. But it’s a way to get to get to the position where my kids can be part of this. And they’re full believers, they’re all about Riomax.

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