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December Canada Ruminant Newsletter

Have You Checked Your Liquid Application Systems this Winter?

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Supporting Healthy Pregnancies with MINTREX® Trace Minerals

The nutritional demands of peak lactation place additional stress on the reproductive system of a dairy cow, delaying her normal return to estrus. This can reduce conception rates and increase days open. If the cow’s nutrition is not optimized, she may not cycle regularly or may develop sub-clinical challenges preventing her from becoming pregnant. MINTREX® trace minerals optimize reproductive parameters in dairy cattle compared to inorganic trace minerals (Bach et al., 2015; Zanton et al., 2011).

A multi-herd commercial trial in Spain showed that cows supplemented with MINTREX® trace minerals had a 9 percent improvement in first service conception rates. Industry standards estimate the value of a pregnancy to be $450 on a large commercial dairy. In a 1000 cow herd, a 9 percent increase in conception would result in 90 more pregnancies. The increase in pregnancies would generate $40.50 per cow resulting in a $30 per cow per year return on investment by using MINTREX® trace minerals (Bach et al., 2015; Fricke et al., 2000).



C.O.W.S.® Program Aims to Identify Transition Cow Bottlenecks


The C.O.W.S.® program has been successful in working with dairy producers and their teams to unlock bottlenecks in their operations.

The program is provided by Novus® International and was developed in collaboration with Dan Weary and Marina Von Keyserlingk from the University of British Columbia. It started in 2010 with the assistance of two graduate students from the University of British Columbia visiting and collecting data from mature, high-production Holstein pens from 200 dairy farms in the U.S. This allowed for the creation of three benchmarks across the U.S., including Northeast freestall, California freestall and Texas/New Mexico open lot.

In 2011, the program was commercially available to producers across the U.S. and Canada. To date, over 1,200 assessments have been completed, along with the creation of four additional freestall regions and plans to create an additional open lot region, and a Jersey breed benchmark to allow producers to compare their herds against their peers’ herds.



Novus® at World Dairy Expo 2018

The beginning of October brought the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin, for all those involved in the dairy industry. The Novus® North America technical and sales teams were excited to be there along with many of our customers from around the world. We enjoyed catching up with all of you and look forward to seeing you next year at Booth #1403-1404!


Getting to Know Dr. Karen Luchterhand

What is your official title at Novus®?
Ruminant Technical Service Manager and C.O.W.S.® Program Manager

How long have you been with Novus®?
3 years

What is your previous training?
Before I came to Novus®, I worked for the University of Wisconsin-Extension as a regional Dairy & Livestock Specialist. I worked with local farmers and developed programming in areas relevant to their current and future needs. I received my doctorate and master degrees from the University of Minnesota in dairy cattle welfare in three housing types and transition cow management and behavior, which tied in nicely to the Novus® C.O.W.S.® program. My dedication to the dairy industry arose from growing up on a small dairy farm and working for neighboring dairy farmers.

In your role what is the most interesting thing you do?

Right now, I’m being pulled in a lot of different directions, and it keeps things interesting! Other Novus® world areas are interested in having their own C.O.W.S.® program and will need training to keep our services consistent throughout the world. At the same time, we are working on moving our data from over 1300 US and Canada C.O.W.S.® assessments into a new database, while simultaneously working to streamline our on-farm data collection. We anticipate reduced turnaround time and improved customer satisfaction as a result of these efforts. I’m working with people from non-farm backgrounds who are designing creative solutions for data housing and user interfaces as well as with coworkers in other parts of the world in order to ensure our format for C.O.W.S.® will meet their customer needs. There is never a boring moment.

What is your favorite Novus® product?
My favorite product is MINTREX® D. My cattle and horses are on it, and I have seen improvement in my horses’ hooves from being on the product. I like having methionine, minerals, biotin, and selenium all wrapped in one package.

What accomplishment or moment in your career are you most proud of?
A dairy producer informed me of the improvements brought forth from a C.O.W.S.® assessment, which made me feel like I was really able to make a difference.

How do you work with customers to address their needs and overcome challenges they face?
I try to listen and ask questions to clarify the problem and work from there. It may require pulling in others or taking a step back to look at the big picture.

When you are not promoting Novus® products and formulating rations, what do you like to do?
I like to do anything that has me moving. Running with my dog Dante and horseback riding with friends are two of my favorite things to do. My husband and I now have some of our beef cattle on our property and have spent a lot of our weekends this past summer putting up fencing and prepping for a shed that we plan to build soon.

If you had to choose only one book for your library, what would it be?
The book I go back to is on horse training, Downunder Horsemanship by Clinton Anderson. I’ve incorporated these lessons while working and handling cattle. It’s all about pressure, release and maybe more importantly, the timing of applying or releasing pressure to get the animal to learn what you want it to do.

b3bf6cbe-488a-49f9-99fa-0be60903667eThe latest certificates showing that MINTREX® is OMRI approved in the US and Canada are available. Please contact your local Novus® sales representative or Customer Service to obtain a copy.

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