The Cool Side of Managing Heat, Diet and Transport Stress at Breeding Season

Managing Heat

The primary area of heat stress impacts on the beef industry has been focused largely on feedlot performance.  However, during the course of our field research on Hydro-Lac® for mitigating the effects of heat stress, some astute producers have tied some common sense-logic together with some of the most relevant and latest reproductive science to improve embryo transfer (ET) and artificial insemination (AI) results on their operations.

One area that producers and scientists alike have looked to most recently is improving fertilization rate and improving embryo survival rate.  Recent research in early embryonic death has been linked to heat stress, transport stress, body condition loss and dietary shifts near or shortly after the time of breeding¹.  Several, if not all of these potential stressor conditions, can exist in the scenario of beef cows and heifers being synchronized for timed AI programs.  Multiple processing chute trips, transporting to summer pastures with increased exposure to heat and solar radiation, the change in feed from hay-based rations to lush grass, and the potential to lose body weight briefly following this change all can negatively impact AI or ET success in the first 30 days or so post-breeding.  Therefore, managing and mitigating these stressors can have huge economic benefits to beef cow-calf producers.

Body Condition

The impact of body condition gain or loss may seem simple enough, but plane of nutrition at time of breeding can have a significant impact on embryo quality and survival².  This is possibly due to energy reserves available to the growing embryo at a tissue level in utero.  Cattlemen can apply the common-sense approaches of managing for low stress animal handling in combination with a diet transition plan that ensures a positive energy balance for females going out to pastures post-breeding to improve embryo survival.

Managing the breeding season diet is also where the proven practice of feeding Hydro-Lac® prior to and during stress events, such as heat or transport stress, has potential to be a valuable tool to improve first-service conception rates when fed in concert with beef synchronization programs.   Our repeated research trials show improved tissue energy reserves from feeding Hydro-Lac®³.   Producers have repeatedly shared that Hydro-Lac® provides a practical application of the product for the purposes of strategically improving energy status prior to and during the breeding season, which can positively impact overall pregnancy rates.  It’s simple, effective and holds great potential for improving return on the investment in high value genetics through AI or ET.

If you’d like more information about managing for greater reproductive success by managing diet, transportation and heat stress, contact your Form-A-Feed representative today.

 

¹Bridges, et. al., Nutritional Challenges for Embryo Survival in Cattle, MN Nutrition Conf 2014

²Kruse, et.al. 2013

³Kern, et. al. 2011,2013 & Hoffman, et. al. 2013

Original Source Form-A-Feed Written by: Daniel Kohls, P.A.S. – Form-A-Feed Nutrition and Production Specialist

Have a Comprehensive Plan to Beat Heat Stress

Heat Stress Cows

Written by: Daniel Kohls, P.A.S. – Form-A-Feed Nutrition and Production Specialist

Even though hot summer days seem weeks away, now is the time to start protecting your herd against heat stress. Cow comfort, cow behavior, and grouping issues exacerbate themselves when heat stress is added to the mix. Lower milk production, poorer reproduction, elevated somatic cell count (SCC), increased lameness, and increased cull rate can all be magnified by heat stress events — as they happen and long after the heat has passed. This makes a well-designed plan a high priority for every dairy.

Auditing your dairy for heat stress preparedness and making appropriate changes are highly profitable practices.

Areas to review in your dairy  should include, but are not limited to:
  • Water quality and availability
  • Shade access
  • Air quality
  • Wind and ventilation
  • Parlor and holding area cooling
  • Evaporative cooling equipment such as sprinklers
  • Fly control
  • Nutrient balance
  • Hydration therapy strategies

The use of our Heat Stress Risk Snapshot is an easy to use tool to assist with preparing your dairy for the summer.

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Evaluating Technologies and Innovations for Dairies

Written by: Dave Lahr, M.S., Form-A-Feed Nutritionist

Technologies and Innovations for Dairies

Dairies have been adopting new technologies for generations.  Our grandparents or great-grandparents may have been among the first in the area to use a milking machine, or AI.  Can you imagine dairying without bulk tanks and refrigeration, or automatic waterers?  Now, robotic milkers and computerized calf feeding systems are common.  New tools and technologies are becoming available with increasing frequency.

So how does a dairy manager decide which technologies are right for their operation?

The ones with the most enticing advertising, or the one used by that elite herd you just read about?

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Weyauwega Annual Fire District Training at CHS Feed Mill

img_6658On Monday, October 10, 2016 the Weyauwega Area Fire District held a training on grain rescue safety for their volunteer fire fighters at CHS Larsen Cooperative, in Weyauwega. Harvest is well underway and farmers will soon be filling their grain bins again. Working in grain bins can be a dangerous activity. Thus, it is very important to be prepared for any unforeseen emergencies during harvest and have the proper training and equipment.

During the training on Monday night the fire department practiced a few rescue scenarios. They used their Grain Rescue Equipment, including the Great Wall of Rescue, ropes, and harnesses, which they were able to purchase last year with a CHS safety Grant. They partially buried a volunteer firefighter in a load of corn at the mill and then used the Great Wall of Rescue, which acts as a cofferdam, to properly rescue a victim out of loose grain. (more…)

Weyauwega Area Fire District Trains at CHS Larsen Cooperative Feed Mill

On Monday, September 21, 2015 the Weyauwega Area Fire District held a training on grain bin safety for their volunteer fire fighters at CHS Larsen Cooperative, in Weyauwega. Harvest is just around the corner and farmers will be filling their grain bins again. Working in grain bins can be a dangerous activity. Thus, it is very important to be prepared for any unforeseen emergencies during harvest and have the proper training and equipment.

The Weyauwega Area Fire District was selected for a donation from CHS Corporate Citizenship. They received a check for $5,610. With this donation from CHS the fire district was able to purchase Grain Rescue Equipment, including the Great Wall of Rescue, ropes, and harnesses.

img_3419smBob Krentz, CHS Larsen Cooperative Feed Manager awards Tom Cullen, Weyauwega Area Fire Chief with CHS donation.

During the training on Monday night the fire department practiced a few rescue scenarios. They partially buried a volunteer firefighter in a load of corn at the mill and then used the Great Wall of Rescue, which acts as a cofferdam, to properly rescue a victim out of loose grain.

“Having this equipment if needed and the knowledge of how to use it properly is a powerful tool for our volunteer team,” said Tom Cullen, Weyauwega Area Fire Chief, “We had a perfect opportunity to work with CHS Larsen Cooperative Feed Mill to be able to actually use this equipment in grain and get the real experience of what to expect.”

They also we able to tour the mill during this training, this helps the firefighters to be more familiar with the CHS Larsen Cooperative Feed Mill. CHS Larsen Cooperative is very grateful to have such a great fire department to work with in case of any future emergencies.

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