Tom Schnabel – Eureka, South Dakota


“We raise a cowherd of 550 cows; we got purebred Simmentals. We have an annual production sale on a Saturday every February. We've been using the Riomax® barrels for four years now. Been getting very good conception rates, and a lot less open cows by using them. Also getting help with the fetal programming of the calves, better uniformity in our calf crop, and better weight gain. 

We used to often run 10% open on the cow herd. In our first full year of using the barrels, we dropped down to 5% open. Every year since then, we've been getting another 1/2 to 3/4 percent better on our conception rates. With 500 cows, and an extra 5% bred, that's a lot of extra calves you got running around. An extra 25 - 30 calves running around here, $1,000 calves. I mean, who wouldn't take an extra $30,000? 

Consumption on Riomax® tubs, what they say it's where they stay. Being a stingy German, I try to pinch every penny possible. In the first year, we measured them to check consistency. Because they were transitioning to something totally new, we thought that they would over-consume. But, they stayed right where they needed to. 1/3 of a pound is the most that anything gets too. And that high end is primarily on our first-calf heifers who are in a little bit more confinement. They're growing and raising a calf at the same time, so they need some extra nutrients. 

Since we've been using the Riomax® barrels, our scrotal circumference and the fertility on our cattle has improved. We use the PG360™ barrel with the flax in there, and the omegas in there certainly helped with the scrotal development. We’ve been averaging 2-3 centimeters bigger than what we did prior. So, bigger scrotal development, more fertility, faster breeding, better results on the semen check. I mean, we checked 50 bulls this year and we only had 1 that was questionable. 

So I plan on staying with the product because it's doing what we need it to do. We're converting, we're getting the rate of gains that we want, we're getting the breed back we need, getting the development we want of the cattle, and, that's what it's all about. Try to get our initial return back and, you know, everybody wants to make a little money. If we can convert feed for fewer dollars, it's more money in our pocket that way. 

I can't say enough about it. Excellent product. Simple. Got everything you need. A little extra salt is all you got to add with it. And the customer service is there, so I just can't say enough about it.” 

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