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Agricultural News

Utah State's Veterinary Toxicologist Jeffery Hall Exposes Sneaky Deficiencies that Deter Beef Quality

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 11:54:33 CDT

Utah State's Veterinary Toxicologist Jeffery Hall Exposes Sneaky Deficiencies that Deter Beef Quality Vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the cow herd may be cutting into the rancher’s bottom line.

“Well, the biggest thing that we see is those animals typically come off ranch situations at lighter weights, higher risks. So, then when you comingle them with cattle from other operations then you see another bout of major onset of disease just due to a bovine respiratory disease complex, for example,” said Jeffery Hall, Utah State University veterinary toxicologist. “Those animals that are deficient are going to be much more susceptible to disease because those animals also don't respond to vaccines well because their immune system’s not working well. And so, you'll have a higher incidence of both sickness and death loss in the backgrounding operations and then following that up into the feedlot and finishing operations.”

To watch a short video clip featuring Jeffery Hall, Utah State University veterinary toxicologist talking about how a customized supplement program can improve both cattle profitability and beef quality, click or tap the PLAYBOX in the window below.

Testing for those deficiencies is a good first step, especially if there’s unexplained illness in the herd, because nutrients vary across forage and soil types.

“I do testing nationwide, and copper deficiency is fairly uniform across the United States,” Hall said. “With as low as 51 or 52% of the cattle I test within an individual state being copper deficient, up to in some areas, close to 75 to 78% of the cattle I test in certain states are copper deficient.”

Hall says the most common deficiencies he sees nationwide are selenium, copper and zinc. Producers who test and then create a customized supplement program can maximize productivity and add value for both the cow and the weaned calf.

“With adequate supplementation programs to get animals into the optimum for their immune health and the reproductive efficiency, the biggest thing that producers see on a regular basis is they'll see a jump in their weaning weights,” he said. “With even mild deficiencies, when you correct them you'll see 25 to 35 pounds of increase weaning weight across an average across a herd. Now with more severe deficiencies, I've seen numerous cases where we've seen 50 or more pounds increase in weaning weights.”

Healthy calves result in higher quality beef. For those targeting premium programs like the Certified Angus Beef brand, supplementing can mean improved quality grade, too.

“The biggest thing is as you correct these problems and you put overall healthier animals into the next stage of the development phase, into the backgrounding lots, and then subsequently into the feedlots, these healthier animals gain better,” Hall concluded. “They're more profitable all the way up the chain. And they also tend to marble out better and so you end up with better carcass characteristics and quality.”

Thanks to our friends at Certified Angus Beef for that segment. We’ll be back with more, after this.

Source - Certified Angus Beef



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