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Reducing Feed Shrink Can Increase Your Profitability

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By Teresa Marker, B.S.

Feed costs, both farm-raised and purchased, are usually the largest expenses on a dairy farm. In today’s economy, finding areas of opportunity for extra profit has become more critical than ever before. Evaluating a farm’s feed waste/loss, commonly referred to as shrink, is an area that should be scrutinized. Shrink can have a significant impact on feed quality, quantity, and profit. Silage shrink can range from 7-48% depending on a variety of factors, with 10-20% being typical. Reducing shrink on your farm will not only improve the inventory volume of feed but it will also help retain nutrients resulting in better nutrition and higher milk production and profit.

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Forage Digestibility: How It Affects Your Bottom Line

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By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

Forages have traditionally been tested for Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF) and Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF). While these values determine how much of each type of fiber there is, they do not give any information as to how digestible, or actually useable, the fiber is to the cow. A more accurate measurement in predicting how well cows will perform on a particular forage crop would be Neutral Detergent Fiber Digestibility (NDFd) and Undigestible Neutral Detergent Fiber (uNDF). The digestibility of NDF is a critical piece of information for balancing rations to maximize cow performance, improve cow health, and minimize ration costs by relying on as much home-grown forages as possible.

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Maximizing Equine Reproductive Performance: Reducing The Impact Of Summer Stress

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By Alex Austin, B.S.

While many horse owners have horses as a hobby for enjoying the occasional fun show or trail ride, there is a business side to the equine industry as well. Horse racing, polo, and competitive jumping are just a few different segments that make up the diverse economy of the horse world. According to the American Horse Council Foundation’s 2017 National Economic Impact Study, the equine industry contributes approximately $50 billion to the U.S. economy annually and helps create 988,394 jobs¹.

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Biosecurity in Poultry

As the days become longer and temperatures increase, we can sense that spring is upon us. Spring brings us new opportunities and experiences. Many poultry enthusiasts are starting their own backyard flocks for the first time while others are introducing new birds to an existing flock. With these events, we would like to remind our poultry raisers of the importance of a good biosecurity protocol.

The key to preventing diseases, such as Newcastle disease, and maintaining a healthy flock of your own starts with good biosecurity practices.  Contact Crystal Creek® today to learn more about how you can protect your birds from common pathogens and health risks.




Comparing Calves To Bicycle Wheels- A Systematic Approach To Troubleshooting Pre-weaned Calves

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Dr. Ryan Leiterman holds degrees in both Agricultural Engineering and Veterinary Medicine

By Ryan Leiterman, D.V.M and Lorrie Meister, C.V.T.

 On October 11, 1826, Theodore Jones of London, England received a patent for what he called “wire wheels”. Jones found that if he added wires, or what we now call spokes, to a circular rim, the wheel could bear greater stress while maintaining its round shape. The addition of the spokes helped the rim distribute the stress evenly throughout the wheel. This strength is dependent on all the spokes working together; if one or more spokes are weak or broken, the rim may collapse.

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Canine Nutrition At Windy Hill Kennel

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By Ben Hickerson, B.S.

 Nestled in the hills of Holmes County, Ohio, you will find Windy Hill Kennel, owned and operated by Robert Beachy. Robert’s interest in dogs and dog breeding started as a young boy when his father owned a few dogs as a hobby breeder. In the spring of 2000, Robert expanded on his interest and started a new endeavor with a small kennel consisting of Boston Terriers, Shiba’s, and English Bulldogs. After 12 years in the dog breeding industry, Robert decided to take his facility to the next level and make it the best it could be.

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Improving Butterfat: Using Components To Drive Profitability

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By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

With the economic challenges facing the dairy industry today, farmers are looking for any and every way to increase profit and maintain sustainability. We are currently in a market where the volume of milk is exceeding the demand.  In this situation, striving to produce more milk can be expensive and often have a minimal return. An alternative to increased volume is increasing the nutrient quality of the milk through higher butterfat content. This can make a large impact on a farm’s bottom line. In July of 2019, the average national price paid for butterfat was $2.69 per pound.1 A cow producing 75 pounds of milk could increase income by $0.30 per day if butterfat content was raised from 3.6 to 3.9%. Along with the economic impact, higher components are also a sign of good rumen health indicating efficient digestion. Increasing butterfat is not always easy, but there are strategies that can help improve milk components to drive a farm’s profitability.

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Crystal Creek’s Beef Mineral Has A New Name: Return On Investment (ROI®)

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By Teresa Marker, B.S.

Crystal Creek® is launching a new name for our beef mineral, now known as ROI® Beef Mineral. R.O.I. is an acronym commonly used in the investing community that stands for Return on Investment. The definition of return on investment (R.O.I.) is a ratio between net profit and the cost of investment. When looking at an input, like a mineral supplement, a producer should always evaluate the cost of the input against the return it will generate. To justify its use, any input will need to show a positive return; whether the effect is on animal health, net profit, or both. Before understanding the economics of mineral supplementation for beef cows, we must first understand the important roles that minerals play in the body.

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