FDA Responds to VFD Questions from Producers
Q: If a producer has medicated feed on their farm on January 1, 2017, do they need a retroactive VFD for that feed? On January 1, 2017 all products with approvals that have transitioned from OTC to VFD must be used in compliance with the VFD
A: regulations, even if the product has the older OTC label. The producer would need a VFD prior to feeding the medicated feed to their animals.
Q: Does the veterinarian have to specify the feed mill on the VFD?
A: The VFD regulation requires the veterinarian to send a copy of the VFD to the distributor via hardcopy, fax, or electronically, but does not require the veterinarian to specify the Distributor on the VFD. If in hardcopy, the veterinarian must send the copy of the VFD to the distributor either directly or through the client. If the veterinarian provides the client with a hardcopy to take to the distributor, the client can go to the distributor of their choice. When the veterinarian is issuing the VFD directly to the distributor (i.e., the client won’t be taking a hard copy to the distributor), the client should tell the veterinarian which distributor to send the VFD to. If the client is unsure of where they would like to get the VFD feed, they should get a hard copy from the veterinarian so they can provide it to the distributor of their choice. If the veterinarian has sent the VFD to a distributor and the client decides they would like to get the VFD feed from a different distributor, they should contact the veterinarian to have them revoke the VFD from the original distributor and resend it to the new distributor.
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What are the Factors that Influence Weaning Weights of Calves?
Calves are usually weaned when they are between 7 and 8 months of age. However, the ideal time should probably depend more on the body condition of the cow and not the age of the calf. One recommendation has been to wean calves before the cows body condition score drop below a 4. However, Whittier (Colorado State University) described several reasons for the traditional weaning age of 7 to 8 months:
- for spring calving cows the decline in forage quantity and quality in the fall
- the possibility of early winter storms
- the beef cow’s lactation curve has declined substantially
- fall weaning gives the cow time to prepare for her next calf in the spring.
Unacceptable weaned calf performance may be the result of inferior genetics, poor dam milk production, calf illness, or a combination of these factors. Environmental effects such as sex, age of dam, season of birth and creep feeding influence weaning weights. View the full PDF
Why Too Much Rainfall Decreases Forage Quality and Cattle Performance
“It has rained half of the summer so we are behind with hay making. We had two good days and got a lot more done (thanks to the bale wrapper). Today started off raining so we couldn’t haul hay, it’s gonna rain tomorrow so we can’t mow hay”. This quote from a producer in West Virginia sums up this summer’s environmental conditions for many farms and ranches in Midwestern states. How does rain reduce my hay yield? Rain reduces dry matter hay yields through its effects on: leaching soluble nutrients, plant respiration and leaf loss. Leaching occurs when the water soluble components in the plant cells move out of them. Most of these compounds are easily digested by livestock and include carbohydrates, soluble nitrogen, minerals and lipids. They are leached out and lost when cut forage is rained on. The following table provides an example of the effect of rainfall on alfalfa forage quality. View the full PDF
Ensuring Feeding Quality of Grain and Forages for Weaned Calves
Cool, wet growing seasons may delay grain maturity and can result in mold and mycotoxin formation in the field. Producers are faced with the decision to feed moldy feeds or forages knowing there may be a potential risk to animal productivity. Molds (mycotoxins) are more pronounced when the dry matter content of the grain or roughage is in excess of 14%. Hay that has been rained just prior to baling exhibits an increase in fiber content and a corresponding reduction in intake. It can take much more rained-on hay to meet the animals’ requirements compared to hay that has not been rained on. View the full PDF
Feeding Grains and Forages Contaminated with Mycotoxins
Producer Challenge: Cool, wet growing seasons may delay grain maturity, and can result in mold and mycotoxin formation in the field. Producers are faced with the decision to feed moldy feeds or forages and knowing there may be a potential risk to animal productivity. Mold is more pronounced when the dry matter content of the grain or roughage is in excess of 14%. This would mean that grain or hay that is rained or snowed on at time of harvest may be susceptible to mold and the production of mycotoxins. View the full PDF
Trace Minerals Help Improve Stocker Cattle Performance
Both management and balanced nutrition are important factors in helping improve performance and reducing the negative impacts of stress on stocker cattle.
Weaned calves and yearlings grazing winter wheat or native grass pastures are often consuming forages deficient in three critical trace minerals, zinc, copper and manganese. Montana and Wyoming forage analysis surveys show that zinc, copper and manganese are often deficient or poorly available in meeting the requirements of a growing calf. View the full PDF