November 1, 2016

Corn Stalk Grazing
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Grazing corn stalks is a common practice and typically one of the most cost effective ways to winter cows. Historically corn stalks have had a predictable feed value and could maintain body conditions (BC) on a bred cow with minimal supplementation. If managed correctly cows can gain BC while grazing stalks, however, over grazing and loss of BC is always a concern. Producers always want to get the most out of a field sometimes at the expense of BC.

Grain, husk and leaves are the most palatable and nutrient dense fractions left in the field. Stalks and cobs are the least palatable and least nutrient dense fractions and cows do a great job of foraging for the grain, husk and leaves when first introduced to a field leaving stalks and cobs for last. Husk and leaves make up about 40% (Wilson et al. 2004) of the dry matter of a stalk field. Therefore, the take 50 leave 50 is a good rule of thumb for grazing stalks. Once 50% of the fodder is removed by the cows what is left will not have the nutrients needed by a cow. Therefore cows must be moved or an increase in supplementation must occur to maintain BC.

Many producers have expressed concerns that corn stalks have a lower feed value today than they have in the past, and many of the corn stalk analysis I have seen seem to agree with that. Not only lower energy but also lower in calcium, magnesium and protein. National Research Council reported values for corn stalks in both their 1984 (this did not include husk) and 2000 publications. Values from the 1984 NRC were 50, 6.6, 0.57, 0.10 and 0.40; values for 2000 were 65.9, 6.5, 0.62, 0.09, and 0.00 (percent TDN, CP, Ca, P and Mg; respectively). Table one contains the analysis from 3 fields of corn stalks analyzed in 2014. It appears that concerns over nutrients decreasing in corn stalks are justified; also stalks seem to be more variable in their nutrient profile. The reduction in energy could be due to breeding plants with more lignin in the stalks making them stronger and less likely to fall and resulting less ear drop as well. Also breeds of corn may have a different ratio of husk and leaves to stalks and cobs. Better harvest equipment leaves less grain in the fields for the cows reducing the energy value of what is in the field. The change in Calcium and Magnesium are a little harder to explain but could be due to breeding or simple mining the soil of these minerals by not replacing them with fertilization. With all of this in mind supplementation has become more important than ever.

In many cases, NRC may over estimate nutrient value of corn stalks which will diminish cow performance. Table 2 demonstrates the gap that would need to be bridged by a supplement for a cow grazing an average of the stalk fields in table 1. To bridge the gap with a 2 lbs/hd/d supplement it would need to be 35% CP, 30% TDN, and 0.31% Phos. In stalk field 1 Ca supplementation would be needed as well. Alliance Liquid Feeds tries to be proactive; when a trend of declining Ca levels in stalks was noticed, Ca was added to bitter formula to help offset this trend. However, Ca levels in liquid supplement have to be limited for a number of reasons. Therefore, if feeding rates are restricted or if the base forage is significantly deficient another source of Ca must be fed. Properly sampling stalk fields for analysis is important part of managing feed resources and avoiding nutrient deficiencies that can cause production losses. If samples are not taken Alliance Liquid Feeds recommends that you assume a worst case scenario and feed additional Ca. Calcium mix with loose salt, alfalfa or a dry mineral with Ca and P are all good options to insure Ca is sufficient in the diet. For more information about supplementing strategies or for help balancing rations please contact Technical services.

Table 1. Corn stalk analysis for winter of 2014 (DM basis)

ItemsStalk Field 1Stalk Field 2Stalk Field 32001 NRC
Crude Protein, %
TDN, %38.058.356.265.9
Calcium, %0.210.340.480.62
Phosphorus, %
Magnesium, %

Table 2. Gap between the requirement and nutrients provided by base forage for a 1300 lbs cow -Last Trimester

ItemsRequirementAverage of StalksDifference
Stalks, lbs DM26
Crude Protein, lbs/hd/d2.01.3-0.7
TDN, lbs/hd/d13.813.2-0.6
Calcium, g/hd/d29.540.110.6
Phosphorus, g/hd/d18.916.1-2.8

NRC. 2000. Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle. Seventh Revised Edition. National Academy Press. Washington, DC.

NRC. 1984. Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle. Sixth Revised Edition. National Academy Press. Washington, DC.

Wilson, C. B., G. E. Erickson, T. J. Klopfenstein, R. J. Rasby, D. C. Adams, and I. G. Rush. 2004. A review of corn stalk grazing on animal performance and crop yield. Nebraska Beef Cattle Reports 2004:13-15.

March 30, 2016

Does Fly Control Bug You?
No Comments / in Loomix / by Loomix

by Dr.Kelley Neuhold, Loomix Technical Service Specialist

I am a 4th generation SE Colorado rancher, at the age of twelve I took the money I had saved and purchased two bred cows. Those two baldy cows were the start of my current cow herd. From that time forward my dad and I have run cows together and one of the common conversations we have each year is should we feed fly control. Two of our common concerns are does feed thru fly control work and is it cost effective.

We make a common mistake many producers make, which is starting to feed fly control too late. Dad and I don’t start thinking about fly control until we see flies which is about 30 to 60 days too late. Oral fly control should start being fed 30 days before the last hard freeze. In the continental U.S. start dates range from March 1st in the south to May 15th in the north. If a fly population is established prior to feeding fly control it will take 35 days to see a reduction in fly numbers. A pour-on, spray, or rub could be used in those situations to help decrease the adult fly population.
In my experience many producers mistake fly control for fly eradication, thus their disappointment with their control program. Fly eradication is nearly impossible to accomplish and never cost effective. Two hundred flies per animal is the economic threshold, if the fly population exceeds this threshold production and/or economic losses will occur. Table 1 demonstrates this point very well. Campbell (1976) evaluated the effect of fly control (treated cows 15 flies per cow vs untreated cows 469 flies per cow) on steer weaning weights in the sand hills of Nebraska. Under the conditions of this study fly control increase weaning weights 13 lb at $1.60 per pound that would mean an extra $20.80 per steer weaned. They did not report body condition scores of the cows but I would assume similar if not better body condition for the treated cows.

A three year study conducted in Louisiana evaluated the effect of fly control on replacement heifer performance (Table 2). Pregnancy rates were not different between the two groups, however replacement heifers treated for horn flies gained 15 pound more than heifers not treated over the 140 day feeding period. The greatest gains were realized in heifers that remained open. Open heifers treated for flies gained 0.25 lb/hd/d more than open heifers that were not treated for flies. This makes treated heifers 35 lb heavier over 140 feeding period, at $1.37 per pound, those heifers are $48 more valuable at sale time. This helps offset some of the cost associated with developing an open heifer.

Horn flies are the most economically relevant fly to the cattle industry, this is especially true for pasture cattle. Confinement operations may need to control other types of flies as well as horn flies. Face flies can also have an impact on your bottom line through the spread of disease such as pink eye. Houston (2010) estimated that pinkeye cost producers $150 million annually. Make sure the product you use is labeled for the fly or flies that are on your cattle. One benefit of oral fly control is that there is no need to rotate products, once you find one that works for you, you can stay with it.

To have a successful fly season remember these three keys. First start thinking about fly control before you have flies, don’t be like my dad and I. Second remember it is fly control, some flies are acceptable. Realist fly control reduces the population by 75 to 80%. And finally keeping fly population below 200 flies per animal can add pounds to your cattle and dollars to your bottom line.

Table 1. Effect of treating beef cows
for horn flies on steer weaning weights.1




Weaning weight, lb



Horn flies per cow



1Adapted from Campbell 1976.

2Means with in a row with different superscripts differ
(P < 0.05).



Table 2. Effect of horn fly treatment
on replacement heifer performance.1






Initial weight, lb





Final weight, lb





ADG, lb





Total gain, lb





Pregnancy Rates, %





ADG Bred, lb





ADG open, lb





Campbell, J. B. 1976. Effect of Horn Fly Control on Cows as Expressed by Increased Weaning Weights of Calves. Journal of Economic Entomology. 69:711-712(2).
DeRouen, S. M., L. D. Foil, A. J. MacKay, D. E. Franke, D. W. Sanson, and W. E. Wyatt. 2003. Effect of horn fly (Haematobia irritans) control on growth and reproduction of beef heifer. Journal of Economic Entomology. 96:1612-1616.
Huston, C. 2010.Pinkeye in Cattle. (Publication 2608) Extension Service of Mississippi State University.

July 13, 2015

QLF and ADM Form Liquid Feed Joint Venture
No Comments / in Loomix / by Loomix

•    Combines QLF production and market expertise with ADM’s extensive network and global resources

DODGEVILLE, WI, July 1, 2015— Quality Liquid Feeds, Inc. and Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) today announced that the two companies have entered into a 50-50 joint venture for the production and sale of liquid feed supplements for livestock. The joint venture consists of four liquid feed production facilities formerly owned by ADM—in Twin Falls, Idaho; Billings, Montana; Fremont, Nebraska; and Johnstown, Colorado—as well as the Loomix® brand. The new venture, which will be called Alliance Liquid Feeds, will serve portions of the Western United States. Quality Liquid Feeds continues to be owned by the Berg family and will continue to market QLF-branded liquid feed supplements out of their 12 facilities in the Midwest, East and Southwest United States.

“One of the ways we are increasing earnings power at ADM is by partnering with other great companies,” said Brent Fenton, president, ADM Animal Nutrition. “In this case, we’re joining with a strong partner in QLF, which allows us to expand our capabilities while simultaneously reducing the capital we have invested in the liquid feed business. Customers will benefit from the combined expertise, resources and efficiency of the joint venture, and our shareholders will benefit from the improved returns we expect from the business. And by combining resources, we expect to see significant advancements in operational efficiencies, from capital reduction to supply chain enhancements to sales/margin improvements.”

QLF CEO Cory Berg said: “This joint venture allows us to expand into markets that we had our sights on for a number of years. The new company will benefit from QLF’s expertise and 38 years of experience producing and supplying liquid feed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. At the same time, it provides us a strong partner in ADM, with its overwhelming supply of ingredients, experience and knowledge in supply chain management, research, and industry connections.”

Existing Loomix customers will see a seamless transition as the new business continues to offer high-quality products, strong customer service and, eventually, new products.

Forward-Looking Statements
Some of the above statements constitute forward-looking statements. ADM’s filings with the SEC provide detailed information on such statements and risks, and should be consulted along with this release. To the extent permitted under applicable law, ADM assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

About QLF
Quality Liquid Feeds is a nationwide, innovative leader in the developing and manufacturing of liquid feed supplements for livestock. With 12 manufacturing plants across the United States, QLF is the largest family- and American-owned liquid feed company in the country. For over 37 years, QLF has been a company with a reputation for marketing products based on quality, consistency and service.

About ADM Animal Nutrition
ADM Animal Nutrition is a leading manufacturing, nutrition and marketing business offering a wide range of innovative products for the animal nutrition market. Known as a global leader in amino acids, ADM Animal Nutrition also offers consistent, high-quality feed products, supplements, premixes, custom ingredient blends and specialty feed ingredients designed to provide leading-edge solutions, enabling our customers to meet and optimize animal health and nutrition goals.

About ADM
For more than a century, the people of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) have transformed crops into products that serve the vital needs of a growing world. Today, we’re one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, with more than 33,000 employees serving customers in more than 140 countries. With a global value chain that includes more than 460 crop procurement locations, 300 ingredient manufacturing facilities, 40 innovation centers and the world’s premier crop transportation network, we connect the harvest to the home, making products for food, animal feed, chemical and energy uses. Learn more at

March 18, 2014

Is It Worth The Price?
No Comments / in From the Field / by Loomix

-by Dick Carlson, Colorado and Southern Wyoming District Sales Manager

Often times when visiting customers at the feedlot, dairy or ranch they confront us with questions, such as:

  • Is this feed worth the price being asked?
  • How do I determine the value of the feed source from a feed test?
  • What is important to review when I receive results from the lab?


Regardless of whether or not feeds are expensive, we must determine the best feed for the value of a given nutrient. Whether feeding cows or feeder cattle we must put a pencil to the ration to determine the best feeds to incorporate, based

on the dollar value of that nutrient provided

to the animal. Following is a list to be used when determining which nutrients should be purchased at a particular price.

  1. Inventory feed currently available on-hand.
  2. Determine the rations needed to identify the amount of total feed required.
  3. Determine when you will feed your best and worst rations.
  4. Test your feeds to identify the nutrients lacking in those diets.
  5. Determine the best value of requireed nutrients based on dry matter.
  6. Know the cost of transporting feeds, especially wet feeds.
  7. Determine the palatability of the feed and potential waste.

Feeds cannot be compared fairly based on price alone. The lowest priced feed may not be the most economical feed in the long run. Evaluating the additional supplements your customers will need to purchase is esstential in providing what the cheap feed is not. To determine if the feed is right, first look at the dry matter cost of the particular feed.

Also, we need to determine which nutrient, such as protein or energy, the feed lacks when developing a ration for a certain group of

animals. Let’s work through a few examples.

Example 1:

Alfalfa priced at $160/ton; 18% crude protein (CP);

56 total digestible nutrients (TDN); 87% dry matter (DM).

Cost/ton of DM: $160/ton / 20 cwt / .87 = $9.20/cwt DM

Cost/pound of CP: $9.20/cwt DM / 18% CP = $0.51/lb. CP

Cost/pound of TDN: $9.20/cwt DM / 56% TDN = $0.165/lb. TDN

Comparing corn with distillers grain is a common practice, which reinforces why we need to identify the moisture and the cost of transporting that feed. Example 2 only compares moisture, but to go further protein and energy should also be compared when considering wet distillers.

Example 2:

Corn priced at $4.60/bu; Wet distillers grain delivered at $69.80/ton

Corn: $4.60/bu / 56 (lb/bu) / .845(15.5% DM) x 20 cwt = $194.42/ton

WDG: $59.80/ton + $10/ton freight / .35(35% DM) = $199.43/ton

Obviously, there are other things to consider when selecting feeds. Some may be less expensive providing a good source of scratch for the rumen but have no feed value. Therefore, the remaining diet will need to be more dense with the other essential nutrients.

Or, let’s go for adding Hay Treat and make

poor feed a

usable commodity with additional protein. Additionally,

High Fat products provide a great solution to add energy with the side benefit of conditioning the ration.

The art to using different feedstuffs, whether poor or excellent quality, is

how we make the rations all fit together and be edible. Hopefully, working through these examples reinforces the need to balance rations and help you answer those questions during visits

to feedlots, dairies and ranches.

Dick Carlson can be reached at


From the Loomix® Doctor’s Office

by Dr. Kelley Neuhold, Loomix Technical Service Specialist

As I sat down to write this article, I was reminded of a sign that hung above the door in the sale barn café. It said “Cows may come and cows may go, but the bull in this place is forever.” Unfortunately, actual bulls won’t last forever but their useful life can sure be reduced with improper management and nutrition. Many times bull management is overlooked because they only make up 2.5 to 5 percent of a herd; however, keep in mind they contribute to 50 percent of the reproduction equation. Fertility problems in bulls can have a major impact on a ranch’s bottom line by lengthening the calving season, reducing calving percentages, and the cost of feeding open cows. Fertility is influenced by both the animal’s genetics and environment. Environmental factors include nutrition, health and management. Once a bull is born nothing can be done to improve his genes, but nutrition and management can be used to increase his breeding longevity.

Feeding and caring for mature bulls, older than 3 years, in good body condition (BC) is much like feeding and caring for dry cows in the second trimester of pregnancy (Table 1). A good BC score for a bull is similar to that of a cow. Prior to and during breeding season bulls should have a BC between 5.5 and 6.5 (Walker et al. 2008). Extremely thin and extremely fat bulls can have semen quality and libido issues for different reasons. Bulls should always have plenty of fresh water, a warm dry place to lie down (bedding maybe needed during extreme cold weather), room to exercise and full access to low to medium quality forage (6 to7 percent CP). Young bulls, younger than 3 years, need more consideration than mature bulls. These bulls are still developing and are more likely to be timid. Young bulls have higher protein and energy requirements (Table 1) than mature bulls due to their growth requirement.

Vitamins and trace minerals (TM) play a very important role in male reproduction. Manganese deficiency is associated with reduced male libido. Zinc (Zn) and vitamin A deficiencies are related to a reduction in spermatogenesis (Bearden and Fuquay, 1992). NRC (2000) suggests vitamin and TM requirements are similar for bulls and cows (Vitamin A = 1,275; Zn = 30 ppm). Arthington et al. (1995) used yearling bulls to evaluate Zn concentration and source on fertility. The three treatments were 1) 40 ppm from Zn sulfate, 2) 40 ppm 1/3 organic Zn 2/3 Zn sulfate, 3) 60 ppm Zn sulfate. They found across all fertility measurement evaluated bull on treatment number two had the most favorable results followed by treatment number three than treatment number one, suggesting that 30 ppm Zn suggested by the NRC maybe too low for yearling bulls. Rowe et al. (2011) used mature bulls to evaluate TM source (organic vs. inorganic) on semen quality and found bulls who were fed organic TM had improved semen quality (Table 2) over bulls fed the same concentration of inorganic TM. These experiments suggest providing bulls a portion of their TM from organic source may improve semen quality, which may improve conception rate in the herd.

Management of bulls should not be overlooked, it can mean the difference between being profitable and not. Keep in mind it takes about 60 days to produce mature sperm; therefore, it will take at least 60 days before management

changes will be realized. This emphasized the importance of evaluating BC and rations 90 days prior to breeding to give time for any change to take effect. The best advice I can give is to preform breeding soundness exams each year on your bulls. This is very cheap insurance, especially for producers who have single bull pastures.

Table 1. Nutrient requirement for young and mature bulls (Dry matter basis).1

Weight, lb

ADG, lbs

CP, %

TDN, %

Zinc, ppm2

Vitamin A, IU/lb













1Based on NRC 2000. 2NRC suggest zinc

level at 30 ppm, however research presented would suggest a minimum

of 40 ppm.

Table 2. LS Mean sperm measurements of bulls assigned to inorganic or organic trace mineral treatments over the 9 week study.1
Sperm Parameters



P values

Motile, %

56.1 ± 2.8

65.5 ± 2.6


Progressive, %

38.4 ± 2.2

47.0 ± 2.0


Rapid, %

52.8 ± 2.9

62.3 ± 2.6


1Adopted from Rowe et al. 2011. 2Organic trace minerals were provided

from Zinpro Availa4.


Arthington, J., K. Johnson, L. Corah, C. Williams, and D. Hill. 1995. The effect of dietary zinc level and source on yearling

bull growth and fertility. J. Anim. Sci. Abstract.

Bearden, H. J., and J. W. Fuquay. 1992. Nutritional management. In: Applied Animal Reproduction. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, pp. 283-292.

NRC. 2000. Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle. Seventh Revised Edition. National Academy Press. Washington, DC.

Rowe, M. P., J. G. Powell, E. B. Kegley, T. D. Lester,

C. L. Williams, R. J. Page, and R. W. Rorie. 2011. Influence of organic versus inorganic trace mineral supplementation on bull semen quality. Univ. of Arkansas Systems Div. of Ag., Dept. of Anim. Sci., Fayetteville, Ark. AAES Research Series 597.

Walker, J., G. Perry, and

K. Olson. 2008. Bull Nutrition. SDSU Extension Extra Anim. and Range Sci. ExEx2065.

Dr. Kelley Neuhold can be reached at