When the snow is deep and continues to fly on the wide, open range, producers have one priority – making sure that their cows have feed and water available to them. Although they understand the importance of a quality mineral program, it isn’t always feasible to scrape away the snow, so the cows can find a tub, or put out loose mineral that will surely be covered up again in a few hours.
Because BioZyme® Inc., and those in its extensive dealer network value the input and requests of their customers, they worked with a dealer and customers to create a new, convenient way to make sure that cattle are still getting the vitamins and minerals they need, while further maximizing the nutrient value of the feed the cattle get during the cold, snowy winter months.
In the fall of 2017, Ryan Vig and Bart Carmichael approached Paul Delbridge with Paul’s Feed & Seed in Faith, S.D., asking him to produce a range cake that included a complete mineral package. The customers were already feeding VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® but wanted it to be part of their range cake. Delbridge said that many feed companies offer a cake or cube with a partial mineral package, but that is not what his customers wanted. So, he and Area Sales Manager Guy Rusche started researching how they could meet his customers’ needs. With a little research, they discovered a range cake manufacturer that would add the Concept•Aid right into the cake, meeting the customers’ needs.
Rusche explains that the conditions in Western South Dakota and much of the Plains States are so much different when trying to feed cattle in the wide-open, especially in the winter. He said a considerable part of chore time is spent plowing snow so there is an area to feed hay and range cake. With cattle spread over various pastures, this takes some time, and by the end of the day, the last thing on the producer’s mind is going to town to get mineral.
“For the ranchers, it’s first things first. Get the forage and get the protein and energy out to them, and if they don’t have time to go to town to get a mineral or supplement, they just don’t have time,” Rusche said.
Efficiency, convenience and consistency are the three key benefits to adding the Concept•Aid to the range cake. All VitaFerm products contain Amaferm®, a precision prebiotic designed to enhance digestibility by amplifying the nutrient supply within for maximum performance. Therefore, the cattle are going to make more efficient use of the hay and cake they are receiving, and the producer will potentially be able to decrease the amount of feed given to the cattle each day.
“We want producers to understand how this will improve efficiency in the hay they are feeding, boost energy without corn. Amaferm amplifies and improves intake, especially during a good hay year like we’ve had up here this year. This should help retain some inventory because the producers will get more nutrients out of hay and cake and see improved health on cows and calves,” Rusche said.
The convenience and consistency of feeding the product work together. The producers are already feeding a range cake or cube; now they can feed one with a vitamin and mineral included. And, the cattle are meeting their daily nutrient requirements.
“The way we figured it, this was even more cost-effective feeding in the cake versus as a free-choice mineral. Plus, we know each animal was meeting their daily requirements by eating the cake,” Delbridge said.
BioZyme listens to its customers’ needs. If two customers are willing to step forward and request a product that worked so well for them last winter, just think of the convenience and efficiency this product can offer to others throughout the High Plains. To learn more about adding Concept•Aid or the Amaferm advantage to you range cakes, visit with your Area Sales Manager or visit http://biozymeinc.com.