US firm launches online forage analysis and additive supplementation guidance service

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis contact

- Last updated on GMT

 © GettyImages/igorsm8
© GettyImages/igorsm8
BioZyme is launching a new online tool aimed at informing cattle producers of hay quality and establishing if additional nutrition is needed.

The Missouri-based company is focused on livestock nutrition, animal microbiology and applied research and manufactures vitamin, trace mineral and protein additives for livestock including cattle and swine. Previously, it developed a feed barometer​system to provide producers with an overview of regional prices for feed ingredients and forages.  

BioZyme launched the free VitaFerm hay analysis report tool​ last week and the system took about a month to develop, said Lindsey Grimes-Hall, nutrition and field sales manager with Biozyme. One goal in developing the systems was to help answer producer questions regarding the quality of their forage in light of challenges producers faced this year.

“Seeing the environmental challenges that the entire country is experiencing, one of the side effects of that is that forage production has significantly been impacted,” ​she told us. “Either producers didn’t get enough rain to yield enough forage to feed their livestock this winter and will have to purchase alternative stored forages, or they have been too wet and haven’t been able to make forages in the ideal window thus impacting quality.”

After producers analyze their forages, the company gets questions regarding if supplemental nutrition will be needed in addition to the stored hay, she said. “Therefore, we created a handy tool where producers can put in their hay analysis values for crude protein and total digestible nutrients and receive some visual aids that will physically show them cattle nutrient requirements versus what their hay will provide,​” she added.

Addressing cattle producer concerns

To use the analysis tool producers need to have had samples of their hay analyzed, the company reported. The system uses the determined values of the crude protein and energy (TDN) in the hay along with the month that calving is expected to start to generate the report.

The system was designed to provide a comparison regarding about how much protein is required by a cow eating that ration and what is available in the hay along with a graph starting during the month of calving of what months needs may be met and those were more is needed, BioZyme said. Additionally, it provides a similar picture regarding energy surplus or deficiency in the ration.

The nutrient requirements for the cow used in the calculation are taken from the nutrient requirements for beef cattle from the NRC assuming a 1,400 cow with “high milk potential,” ​said Grimes-Hall.

“Then based on the expected calving date we compute the amount of energy and protein surplus or deficiency that producer is lacking assuming the hay is their only source of supplementation,” ​she said. “We report that value in terms of pounds because that is a unit that is easy for most producers to relate to.”

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