Difficult to detect and treat due to the extensive nature of beef cattle, Hypomagnesaemia, can be a major culprit of cow death and complications at calving, with losses of up to 20% reported on properties prone to the problem. Often, the first sign of magnesium deficiency is death, meaning loss of capital stock between $1,600-2,400 per cow (based on current prices), loss of calf, plus loss of breeding potential in the herd.
To help solve the problem, animal feed ingredient supplier, BEC Feed Solutions, is partnering with animal feed manufacturer and blender, James & Son (NZ) Pty Ltd. Together, they’ve developed ‘Optimiser MAG – BEEF’ – a new Magnesium-rich concentrated feed blend, featuring the innovative and highly palatable BOLIFOR® MAG33 product – specifically for beef breeding cow operations.
Trina Parker, BEC Country Manager, says awareness is growing about the need for adequate Magnesium in beef breeding cows leading up to calving and for the month post-calving, resulting in increased demand for a convenient, cost efficient mineral supplementation product.
“On the back of our success with the Bolifor® range in dairying, we’ve had numerous requests from beef farmers for a low-risk feed blend incorporating high levels of Magnesium,” explains Ms Parker.
“Our partnership with James & Son means we can deliver these benefits in the form of ‘Optimiser MAG – BEEF’. And, because BOLIFOR® MAG33 is extremely palatable, a concentrated mineral blend such as this will be readily accepted by the herd.”
Optimiser MAG – BEEF comprises a blend of vegetable/grain by products, BOLIFOR® MAG33, sweeteners and additional flavours and is delivered in 500g per day dose rates. Optimiser MAG – BEEF will be available nationwide in 250kg and 500kg bags.
Traditionally, beef breeding operations have not supplemented their stock pre-calving due to no effective means of delivery to the herd. The only real options until now have been Magnesium Oxide, which is often a feed deterrent, or Magnesium salts via water, which is not often achievable at the back of the farm water supply.
Darren Edwards, James & Son’s Commercial Manager, says ease of delivery has been a key consideration for the company in developing Optimiser MAG – BEEF. “Optimiser MAG – BEEF has been designed specifically for delivery to paddock via bulk sling bags. Depending on herd size, cows can be fed directly, or feed can be administered over a few days via a feed trough. Optimiser MAG – BEEF makes dosing beef cattle with Magnesium pre-calving, and in the vital post-calving period, easy and operationally efficient,” says Mr Edwards.
Greg Pillar, James & Son’s Chief Operating Officer, believes a partnership approach with BEC Feed Solutions is proving extremely successful in delivering innovative new products to market. “Working together we hope to replicate the success we’ve enjoyed in helping transform Magnesium use in dairying through the Bolifor® Magnesium range, to deliver a convenient solution for the beef industry,” says Mr Pillar.
Optimiser MAG – BEEF will be available in the North Island from March 2015, and South Island from April 2015.
For orders contact James & Son on 0800 MR FEED, jamesandson.co.nz.
 Source: Beef and Lamb NZ