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RFV Does Not Love You Back

Click here to view as a pdf:  RFV Does Not Love You Back

By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

Relative Feed Value (RFV) has been used as a method to quickly evaluate forages and make assumptions of animal performance when that forage is fed. Generally, the thought is that the higher the number the better. While there can be some truth to this at times, RFV misses out on arguably the most important piece to the puzzle when feeding forage to cows; neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFD). Crystal Creek® focuses on maximizing energy corrected milk with forage by utilizing farm grown feeds in the diet. To do this, we need to dig much deeper when evaluating forages and providing the best rations for rumen health and profitable production. Other tools like Relative Forage Quality (RFQ), and better yet, the NDF digestibility, really help pin down how to maximize forage in the ration and maintain productive cows.

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How to Identify and Manage Heat Stress in Calves

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By Cassy Golburg, B.A.
Livestock Specialist

Most livestock producers are familiar with the negative effects of heat stress in lactating cows, but the impact heat stress has on calves and heifers is often overlooked. Heat stress can not only cause a negative impact on calf health but can also cause a negative impact on producer profitability. There are a variety of health issues calves experience from heat stress including dehydration, lower average daily gains, and higher morbidity and mortality rates. A study from Penn State Extension showed that calves exposed to heat stress early in life often had long term ramifications, such as smaller breeding size and an older age at first lactation. These factors ultimately play a large role in decreasing producer profit. Crystal Creek® can help producers evaluate the impact heat stress is having on their calves and determine what steps can be taken to prevent long-term repercussions from it.

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Successful Sow Management

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Alex Austin, B.S.

A successful hog operation begins with productive gilts and sows. Making sure animals are healthy from breeding to farrowing will ensure that piglets get off to the best start possible. The Crystal Creek® Paladin® Swine Program provides a high-quality nutrition model that produces vigorous animals. Crystal Creek® has proven products and services to offer swine producers that give a strong return on investment.

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10 Years in a Family Business: Lessons Learned

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By Ryan Leiterman, D.V.M.

Director of Technical Services

I spent nine years in college before entering what my dad refers to as the real world. It was only after college that I realized how little those nine years had prepared me for the road that lay ahead. For the past 10 years, I have been fortunate enough to work alongside my parents in our family business. I’ve learned more during my time in the family business than I did in all those years of college. I’ve also learned a lot from working with our clients and their family businesses. Below are three of the most important lessons I’ve learned so far.

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Non-Nutrient Factors That Impact Dairy Diet Performance

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By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

When looking for the next pound of milk, most time is spent evaluating what could be changed in the ration. This often leads to discussions based on individual feedstuffs and ingredients. Dairy cow performance starts with a properly balanced diet, but sometimes the biggest opportunities are unrelated to the nutrient values in the feed. The environment in which a cow spends most of its day, how its feed is delivered, and the management of the cow’s time, all play a role in performance.

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Calfhood Diarrhea: Two Different Causes = Two Different Electrolyte Strategies

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Calf scours are an economically devastating disease affecting calf raisers, primarily because scours cause calves to rapidly dehydrate. Providing proper hydration can help shorten the severity and duration of calf scours. Electrolyte therapy should be paired with a prevention plan to address the cause of the scours. Choosing the right electrolyte for the job at hand can be confusing. Crystal Creek® is here to help.

 Regardless of the type or cause of calf scours, Crystal Creek® has an effective, economical electrolyte that is right for your operation. For more information, contact Crystal Creek® or your local Crystal Creek® dealer. We’d be happy to discuss how our calf products will help you raise healthier, more profitable calves.