Maintaining Trace Minerals in Calves at Weaning

At birth, healthy calves born to well-supplemented cows should have high levels of three important trace minerals: copper, zinc, and selenium. These minerals are critical for growth, immune response, and the calf’s ability to maintain a normal body temperature. Calves draw on these minerals to help them cope with external stress, such as bad weather, vaccinations, or castration.  But these levels have decreased considerably by the time weaning occurs — and weaning is the most stressful period in a calf’s life. That’s why supplementing with CRYSTALYX® Brigade® Stress Fighting Formula is so important. We recommend introducing the barrels to the calves a few weeks before weaning, so that they begin to build those reserves and are familiar with the supplement after weaning occurs.

For a further discussion of this topic, visit the CRYSTALYX Block Blog.

Determining Corn Silage Value

When harvested correctly, corn silage is a terrific forage resource — and with modern corn and harvesting equipment, a relatively small crop can quickly yield a large amount of silage. What’s more challenging is determining its value.

There are two ways to value corn silage: based on cash corn market, or on nutrient composition. Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist, has an article on iGrow with a complete discussion of this topic, including spreadsheet tools and calculators.

Grain Drydown and Deciding When to Harvest

The most important factors in deciding when to harvest corn are grain moisture as well as the quality of ears and stalks. Farmers and many researchers believe that grain dry matter is lost during drydown after the corn has reached physiological maturity. Ideally, corn moisture should be between 22 and 25 percent at harvest to maximize your yield.

This informative PDF from Channel, CAA Grain Drydown and Timely Harvest Decisions, features a detailed discussion on the subject. As always, contact your co-op for expert advice on any topic related to farming corn.