Do you struggle with pasture management during the summer? If so, you're not alone.
Ranchers across the country are continuously looking for ways to better-manage pastures, prevent summer sicknesses, and reduce labor. Some of the most common issues ranchers face during the summer are:
- Summer Pasture Utilization
- Fly Control
- Foot Rot
- Pink Eye
- Summer Pneumonia
- Poor Calf Gains
- Creep Feed Issues
If any of these sound familiar, we feel your pain. That's why we've taken the time to address them and give you some tips as to how to handle these summer issues.
1. Summer Pasture Utilization
Often, ranchers struggle to get full utilization of their pastures in the summer months. In other words, your cattle stay in one or two main areas and rarely graze in other new locations.
One thing Riomax® tubs help with is drawing cattle out into areas they may not normally, or willingly, go. By placing tubs in under-utilized areas, you can draw the cattle out into those parts, and ultimately, get far more out of your pastures.
2. Fly Control
Flies are pesky things, there’s no doubt about it. But horn flies can be more than just a nuisance. They ride on the backs of cows and feed between 20 and 40 times a day. Not only do they have a negative effect on the cattle’s behavior, they can also cause damage to the cow’s coat, harm their health, and cause a loss in milk production. You know flies are bad when the cattle are facing into the wind, usually up in the corner of pastures. If the cattle are stomping their feet, it generally means you have a stable fly problem. Stable flies focus most on the lower legs, while horn flies are more on the upper parts, causing cattle to throw their heads and swing their tails.
In Riomax® tubs specially designed for fly control, there is a component called Altosid IGR. The cattle ingest this, it goes through their system, and out into the manure, where fly larva can feed off it. The altosid then kills the fly larva, breaking up the life cycle. The best part is, it causes no impact to the cattle, other than getting rid of the flies so your cows can graze in peace!
3. Foot Rot
Foot rot is most likely to show up when the weather gets rainy. Wet conditions cause trauma to the foot, ultimately leading to infection. Having a solid mineral program can help prevent this, to a certain degree. Products like Riomax® contain key ingredients like copper, zinc, and organic iodine, which are going to give you the best chance of preventing foot rot.
4. Pink Eye
Pink eye is a result of trauma to the eye. This can be caused from many forms of irritation, whether it be flies, or grass while the cattle are grazing. Thankfully, there are ways to take care of this through a strong mineral program. Minerals like Riomax® have good levels of Vitamin A and E, as well as healthy amounts of zinc and selenium. These ingredients are essential in reducing the risk of pink eye in cattle.
5. Summer Pneumonia
Another summer pasture problem that can show up is summer pneumonia. Again, by using a solid nutrition program and giving the standard vaccines to cattle before sending them out on pasture, it is possible to reduce the risk of an outbreak. In certain situations, or particular areas, though, you may still run into some tie-ups and in these cases, using 100% protected trace minerals and possibly higher levels of trace minerals is necessary to get maximum utilization of the mineral you are feeding and to get the best results on the cattle.
Fetal programming also plays a big role in this as well as many factors pertaining to the health and performance of the calf. Keeping mama on a high plane of nutrition will give the calf the best chance of nutritional success and reduce sickness including summer pneumonia. With Esqort® technology, we have 100% rumen by-pass, so we give your livestock the best shot at being healthy; in order to give YOU best return on investment.
6. Poor Calf Gains
Poor calf gains are frustrating. All that time and work put in, with not as much as you’d like to show for it. In effort to combat this, Riomax® focuses heavily on helping the mother cow produce better quality milk. In addition to this, results have shown an increase in milkfat. Increased milkfat leads to better calf gains, because there is more fat in the milk.
7. Creep Feed Issues
Creep feed is expensive stuff, so no wonder many ranchers are trying to reduce or eliminate their use of it. When deciding whether it is worth feeding, it is important to ask yourself, what is the purpose of feeding creep feed? Many Riomax® users have been able to cut creep feed 100%, simply because of the good results they saw. Things like frame growth and weight gain have actually improved for many ranchers, even after cutting out creep feed completely.
8. Summer Pasture Labor Costs
Have you ever wondered how you can reduce labor in the summer months? By feeding a Riomax® program, which is low-consumption by design, you don’t have to worry about putting new tubs out as often. For example, the minimum one 250lb tub will last 50 cows is 15 days and up to 40 days. That means you only have to put out tubs roughly every 2-5 weeks, instead of every week. Not only does this cut back on manual labor, it also reduces wear and tear on equipment and machines.
Riomax® can also help minimize labor by allowing you to reduce or eliminate creep feed, as mentioned previously. Feeding less creep feed means one more area where labor can be scaled down (no more buying/distributing it).
Finally, by creating better overall heard health, Riomax® allows you to lessen labor involved in treating unhealthy cows or frequently moving them around the pasture.
Your Pasture Management Problems: Solved
Here at Riomax®, we'll do whatever we can to help you overcome your summer pasture problems. Ranchers across the nation have been able to reduce many of these issues by supplementing Riomax® throughout the summer. One rancher from Wyoming was even able to bring his summer sicknesses down to nearly zero! We'd love to make an impact on your operation today.