This is branded content for Ausfarm Nutrition.
Local ruminant nutrition business, AusFarm Nutrition Products, is helping cattle and sheep producers beat the winter production gap with the launch of the newest addition to its extensive StockMins range and winter grazing game changer, StockMins-Crop Grazer Plus.
AusFarm Nutrition Products has had a rich history in bringing livestock production innovation to the Australian market, and according to Dr Paul Meggison, Chief Nutritionist of AusFarm Nutrition Products, the most recent addition to the range is no different.
"It's always exciting to launch new products and help Australian farmers to produce the best meat, fibre and milk in the world," Dr Meggison said.
"Crop Grazer Plus is another tool in the toolbox that can help livestock achieve peak performance and maximise on-farm profitability."
The combination of the recent improvement in dual-purpose crop technology and a need for livestock to continue production throughout the cooler months, has seen a rise in the popularity of crop grazing. StockMins-Crop Grazer Plus has been introduced on the back of this trend seeing demand for mineral supplementation increase.
In a recent report, Meat & Livestock Australia researcher Shawn McGrath commented on how innovation in dual-purpose crops have made winter grazing a very profitable exercise for producers.
"What we have seen is that when the timing of grazing is appropriately managed, grain production from dual-purpose crops is profitable in its own right - offering an additional source of income while also helping to fill the winter feed gap."(1)
Similar results from the use of dual-purpose crops have seen the proliferation of crop grazing, particularly in the southern states, where growing winter crops like wheat, barley and canola have historically accounted for a large percentage of farmland and on-farm profitability.
Dr Meggison warns that although we have come leaps and bounds with dual-purpose crops and improved pastures, winter grazing is not without its risks.
"Winter pastures and crops can be significantly deficient in key minerals, especially sodium, calcium and magnesium, and if not managed appropriately can have devastating effects on grazing animals."
Mineral supplementation to correct deficiencies associated with winter grazing dates back to the mid-1900's, however, the production benefits of balancing the mineral status of grazing animals has only recently become popular in Australia.
Crops are a great source of feed and can help give pastures a rest during the cooler months, but according to Dr Meggison we may only be seeing a fraction of the growth that they can generate.
"Recent studies on livestock grazing dual-purpose cereals highlighted that the inclusion of the right mineral supplement can significantly boost growth rates, lowering cost of production and helping to achieve target weights sooner."
"The interesting thing about Crop Grazer Plus is that its growth benefits are achieved by two different modes of action," he said.
"Firstly, it contains four different types of magnesium of different solubilities, to maximise availability in an environment where magnesium is limiting. Secondly, we include Bovatec® for improved rumen health and function".
"Studies on the inclusion of Bovatec® in supplements have been shown to generate up to 14 per cent extra growth in grazing livestock, which alone can get livestock to trade weights sooner and improve selling options at the other end."(2)
Through researching and adopting global technology and modifying it for the Australian market, AusFarm Nutrition Products have been bringing innovation to cattle and sheep producers for more than 15 years.
If you want to get the most out of your livestock on winter pasture and dual-purpose crops, contact AusFarm Nutrition Products today on 0412 048 055.