What do the three thing mentioned above have in common? More than some people would imagine. Coming from a livestock background, I learned many years ago you can’t starve a profit out of cattle. Feed is the biggest cost of production for livestock producers. Some try to buy cheaper hay to cut costs. Does that always pay? No. As with any other agricultural enterprise it is the cost per unit of production that determines true value. If you buy hay that starves your animals, it has little value. Higher quality feed, purchased at a higher price sometimes equates to the best buy because the animals can produce a better return for your investment. Animals need balanced nutrition as do humans and animals eat plants that need balanced nutrition.
There is the connection of the feed value, nutrition and agronomy. Nutrients we manage in the soil for plants produce nutrition for animals. Nitrogen and sulfur make protein. Phosphorus provides energy. Potassium and magnesium have to be in balance in the soil and also in animals. Calcium is a major nutrient in the soil and also in animals. Other nutrients are needed in lesser amounts but are vital for life. Anyone with experience in livestock nutrition knows healthy animals come from good feed. Similarly healthy plants come from good soil. What makes good feed or soil? The answer is a balanced nutrient profile. True we can’t make sand into clay the same as we can’t feed horses into cows, but we can make the most of what we have through testing and analysis.
This year we have some customers who want to focus on building feed value through agronomy. There will be no silver bullet or magic recipe. However a balanced approach will yield results. Think about your production goals and feel free to call one of our team of agronomists to see how we can help you feed your soil, your crops, your animals and your bottom line.
Jason Trowbridge CCA