Shop online or call 1-888-376-6777 to place an order. Phone

The Elegance and Wisdom of Simplicity: As Applied to Dairy Ruminant Nutrition

Click here to view as a pdf:  The Elegance And Wisdom Of Simplicity

By Dan Leiterman

Preface: This is the first part of a two-part article addressing my thoughts about common sense strategies for dairy nutrition.

Throughout the ages and in all walks of life, mankind has demonstrated a relentless and instinctive desire to learn, to explore and to discover answers for the many complex mysteries of life and science. The quest for knowledge is essential to our success as a species. However, managing the new knowledge and applying it to our benefit is an ever-increasing challenge. During our journey to learn as much as we can, it is important to remember the role of simplicity as an essential tool to help us manage the overwhelming amount of information we are exposed to every day. No matter how complex the topic, it must adhere to simple, basic and sound principles so information can be applied easily and efficiently with balance. If simplicity is not taken into account, it is too easy to lose perspective on the task at hand, forget the lessons of history, and become lost in a sea of data. Information that is consistent with simple principles will advance a cohesive, wise and efficient strategy that helps us to reach a sustainable goal. Keeping a solid tie to simplicity can provide clarity and help us stay on course in the growing complexity of our world.

Read More →

How to Effectively Manage High Somatic Cell Counts

Click here to view as a pdf:  How To Effectively Manage High Somatic Cell Counts

By Teresa Marker, B.S.

Herd-wide high somatic cell count (HSCC) issues can negatively impact both milk quality and overall farm profitability. A recent study estimated that the cost of subclinical mastitis to the U.S. dairy industry exceeds $1 billion annually. The overall production loss for the average U.S. dairy farm was estimated at $110/cow annually. This loss can be attributed to discarded milk, treatment costs, extra labor costs, milk production losses, culling and death loss. The following article will outline what steps are needed to determine the cause of a high somatic cell count, how to interpret diagnostic test results and how to create a plan to help reduce the overall herd somatic cell count.

Read More →

The Recovery Period: Tips For A Successful Dry Off

Click here to view as a pdf:  The Recovery Period: Tips For A Successful Dry Off

By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

The dry cow period is arguably the most important time in the cow’s lactation cycle as it is the time in which the cow rests her body and prepares for the next lactation. The timing and way in which a cow is dried off can greatly impact how well she will transition into the dry period and how well she will come into her next lactation. A properly managed dry off protocol should minimize the risk of mastitis, maximize cow comfort and allow for mammary tissue rest and recovery in preparation for the next lactation.

Read More →

Forage Digestibility: How It Affects Your Bottom Line

Click here to view as a pdf:  Forage Digestibility How It Affects Your Bottom Line

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.

Read More →

Improving Butterfat: Using Components To Drive Profitability

Click here to view as a pdf:  Improving Butterfat Using Components To Drive Profitability

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.

Read More →

Milk Or Profit: A Case Study

Click here to view as a pdf:  Milk Or Profit A Case Study

By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

Rolling herd average or milk production per cow are numbers commonly referred to when discussing the success of a dairy farm. Milk production is an easy number to identify but the actual profitability of an operation is a much more complex topic. A dairy herd’s income is simple to see by reading the milk check. Determining the real profit of the herd cannot be so easily evaluated as it takes time to assess the expenses involved in making the milk and running the operation.

Read More →

Interpreting The Value Of A Livestock Mineral

Click here to view as a pdf:  Interpreting The Value Of A Livestock Mineral

Customer Favorite This article was originally published in the April 2012 Issue of the Crystal Creek® Newsletter

By Dan Leiterman

The goal of this article is to offer insight in determining the value of a livestock mineral. The value can be determined by combining the information supplied on the label and visual observation of the mineral itself, along with some basic ingredient knowledge. A critical analysis will consider ingredient quality, nutrient bioavailability and possible negative, unintended consequences associated with poor ingredient quality or inappropriate formulation techniques.

Read More →

Crystal Creek® Foundation Grain Mix: Innovative Nutrition For All Livestock

Click here to view as a pdf:  Crystal Creek Foundation Grain Mix

By Alex Austin, B.S.

Crystal Creek® is excited to offer an innovative approach to providing quality nutrition to your livestock. Crystal Creek® Foundation Grain Mix is a new product offering high grade grains resulting in excellent performance nutrition. Pairing Crystal Creek® Foundation Grain Mix with the appropriate Crystal Creek® mineral will provide a superior quality complete feed.

 

Read More →

Ask the Vet/Ask the Nutritionist

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

“There are times we need to drench our calves or adult cows but no one on the farm is comfortable performing this procedure.  Are there any tips that could help us?”

-Unsure in Iowa-

There are many reasons for having to administer a liquid by mouth into the rumen or abomasum of an animal. Supplying the correct quantity of colostrum to calves or giving an electrolyte solution for rehydration are a couple common examples. Making sure that drenching is being performed correctly on your farm is crucial, as incorrect drenching can cause aspiration of fluids into the lungs leading to pneumonia, choking and even death. Training livestock handlers on the procedure will help set up your operation for success. Drenching requires skill, knowledge, strength, patience and the right tools for the job.

Read More →

Improving Longevity In Your Dairy Herd

Click here to view as a pdf:  Improving Longevity In Your Dairy Herd

By Teresa Marker, B.S.

Healthy cows tend to stay in the herd longer.  Currently, in the United States, the average productive lifetime for a dairy cow is 2.5 lactations. A cow does not mature until five years of age.  Many cows are involuntarily lost during the first two months of lactation. The majority of these animals are removed from the herd due to poor transitions, lameness, mastitis and reproductive issues. There are several ways to improve longevity of a dairy herd which will ultimately lead to improved milk production and profitability for the dairy farm. Strategies to improve longevity on the dairy farm include: cull based on parity, bring in less heifers every year, improve the transition into lactation, focus on colostrum management, feed quality forage, and provide proper nutrition for all groups.

Read More →