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UW-Extension Agents Tour Crystal Creek®

June 2016

Click here to read as a pdf:  UW-WI Extension Visits Crystal Creek

On Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 over 15 University of Wisconsin-Extension Agents visited Crystal Creek®.  Local Washburn County Area Ag Agent, Richard Otto Wiegand and Area Ag Development Agent, Kevin Schoessow helped organize the event which included visits to several other local businesses related to the agriculture industry.


Crystal Creek® is a family owned business located in Spooner, WI that has experienced continual growth since its origin in Prescott, WI in 1998.  The company has expanded 3 times in the last 18 years and currently employs approximately 14 people.

The most recent expansion is a 32,500 square foot warehouse being built this summer to help better serve Crystal Creek’s growing customer base.  Crystal Creek® supplies farmers all over the United States and Canada with livestock mineral and animal health supplements. Crystal Creek warehouse

Crystal Creek® values the service and information UW-Extension Agents supply the agricultural community and appreciate the opportunity to work with others to further the sustainability of producers from all types of operations.




Maintaining Your Pasture To Maximize Feed Quality

Click here to view as a pdf:Maintaining Your Pasture To Maximize Feed Quality


By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

Pasture is a high quality, cost-effective feed that many producers rely heavily on during the summer months. Because pasture is such a crucial feed, it is important to manage it during vulnerable times to make the most efficient use of it when it is growing. Implementation of fall and spring pasture management practices can make a noticeable difference in pasture quality and in your pocketbook during the grazing season.

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Ask The Vet / Ask The Nutritionist

Click here to view as a pdf:  Ask The Vet Ask The Nutritionist

How do you determine the right time to harvest corn silage and how long should I wait before feeding this year’s silage?”

The proper timing of harvesting corn silage is of the utmost importance. If corn silage is harvested when it is too wet, it can grow mold and/or clostridia and there is a greater chance that butyric acid will form leading to dry matter loss, poor feed quality and decreased feed intake. Harvesting corn silage when it is too dry will cause poor packing in the storage structure, poor fermentation and possible heating in the bunk. All of these factors can lead to an increased dry matter loss during fermentation, spoilage and poor bunk life. Dry corn silage is also less digestible. Harvesting corn silage at just the right time will produce high quality silage which will result in optimum animal performance. Factors to consider when harvesting corn silage include:

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Successfully Managing Internal Parasites In Sheep

Click here to view as a pdf:  Sucessfully Managing Internal Parasites In Sheep
By Contributing Editor
Julie Wadzinski, B.S.

Internal parasite resistance is becoming a serious concern across sheep flocks worldwide.  Recent research has focused on different methods to minimize the genetic adaptation of internal parasites to survive deworming treatments (anthelmintic resistance). It is important to take a multi-faceted approach to create an Integrated Parasite Management (IPM) plan. One component to consider when creating an IPM is parasite refugia.  Parasite refugia is a population of parasites that have survived despite being exposed to unfavorable conditions. An effective parasite managment plan includes pasture management, proper anthelmintic selection, selectively treating animals, careful breeding/culling considerations, quarantining new animals and investigating treatment failure.

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Providing A Clean Environment=Healthier Calves And Increased Profit

Click here to view as a pdf:  Providing A Clean Environment Equals Healthier Calves


By Lorrie Meister, CVT
Livestock Specialist

A clean environment is essential to successful calf raising. Housing, air quality and cleanliness of the surfaces the calf comes into contact with (hutches, panels, bottles, pails, feeders, etc.) all play a role in raising a healthy, robust animal. Many producers fall into habits of using certain products, or practices, to clean and disinfect surfaces because they have never considered, or have not taken the time to look for a better alternative.

For many years, bleach has been the most commonly used disinfectant on livestock operations.  While bleach is effective in some ways, it has several major downfalls. Cryptosporidium and giardia are two common pathogens that bleach will not control. A common misconception when cleaning facilities is if it looks clean, it is clean. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Studies of bacterial loads in dairy farm environments have shown that only 10% of bacteria present is free floating. That leaves the remaining 90% of bacteria attached to surfaces or trapped in biofilms.1 Biofilms are a group of microorganisms which stick to each other and adhere to a surface. This representation of bacterial distribution proves how important the steps of sanitation (past the removal of gross debris) are in our cleaning protocols. Finding a disinfecting agent that can provide a broad spectrum of protection for your animals can be a challenge. Some agents work well in certain settings but not others. New studies have shown that chlorine dioxide is the best choice for on-farm sanitizing applications.

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Maternal Colostrum Management

Click here to view as a pdf:  Maternal Colostrum Management

By Kaylee Viney,
Livestock Specialist

Giving calves the best chance for a healthy and productive life starts with proper colostrum management. Calves that receive high quality colostrum obtain the passive immunity needed to protect them against disease. Properly managing colostrum will reduce calf treatment costs as well as increase average daily gain. Three areas to focus on when evaluating a colostrum management plan are:

  • Colostrum
  • Colostrum delivery time to the calf
  • Colostrum quantity

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