Beef Production



Dec 31, 2017 | 14:30 1 Just curious what others do for vitamins to the herd for the winter. Normally we feed TM salt mixed with rumensin and vitamins AD+E with the silage or grain. This year the price of that blend went from $1,000 to $1,725 a Tonne and the mill is blaming it on the vitamins. Apparently a BASF plant in Germany that does the initial step in vitamin production burnt up and is offline till end of March. We found two months supply of straight AD+E at 4 different UFA stores and cleaned them out yesterday since the price still seemed reasonable. I know some guys who only give blue salt blocks year round and don't have issues (my FIL's cows don't get anything else besides ivomec after they start scratching). Not going that route but I'm wondering if others are having issues with supply or are changing their practices this year.

The nutritionist said it's "only $1.20 a month more per cow than last year". That's like $5k for the rest of the winter which I could find much better ways to blow than this.

BTW the nutritionist doesn't have cows and that probably affects his view on this. Reply With Quote
Dec 31, 2017 | 15:34 2 I heard that story about the production problem in Germany too. We tried a number of things in AB from cheapest minerals to kelp and to be honest never saw any difference in results. Latterly we used trace mineral salt blocks from the time we pulled bulls in the fall until a month before calving. From then through to pulling the bulls we used the cheapest 2:1 mineral we could find and mixed it with 50% salt. There were no mineral or vitamin deficiencies apparent using this program.
We've had to be a bit more generous since moving to MB given how much we've changed the cows environment. They are on a high CMZ 2:1 mineral mixed with salt ad-lib year round. I expect in time we will be able to trim that somewhat. I don't believe that most areas of the prairies have significant mineral or vitamin deficiencies - the soils are rich here in comparison to what I was raised with. Availability of minerals to the consuming animal isn't always the same as what's in the soil and a lot can be done to enhance the uptake by how you manage your grass, having plant diversity etc. Probably don't want to be tying up things with glyphosate etc. Reply With Quote
Jan 1, 2018 | 21:22 3 Masterfeeds and Landmark are telling their dealers that the shortage will last at least a year and they will no longer offer vitamins as a separate product outside of their mineral pre-mixes as the price will be astronomical, they are saying 10x the previous price. Nobody will buy it and no dealer will sit on it for inventory or order it.

Also mineral mixes are seeing big jumps. Pretty much $20 a bag increase across the board.

I bought a 25kg bag of 10 million ADE for $75 and a 25kg bag of 40,000 Vitamin E for $55. Told dealer to get me a quote on what the next order of Vit E would cost before Landmark runs out of it altogether.

Most guys are not aware of this info yet. Many will quit putting mineral out all together. Reply With Quote
Jan 2, 2018 | 05:10 4 This reminds me a lot of the phosphate screw job er “shortage” in bagged minerals some years ago. Realized we overfeed the crap anyways. Cut back and didn’t miss anything. Feed guys shoot themselves in the foot every time. Cow calf guys run on thin enough margins as it is. Whether it’s mineral salesmen, pharmaceutical companies, or cattle handling equipment sellers, that crap is the first thing spending gets cut. Selenium is the Achilles heel here. Other than some calcium I don’t know what else to throw my money at, a fire? Reply With Quote