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March Canadian Ruminant E-newsletter

Utilizing Trace Minerals for Increased Reproductive Efficiency

After calving, producers strive to get their herds re-bred efficiently in order to shorten the calving interval. Timing of uterine involution and follicular growth, both significantly affected by trace mineral absorption and availability, are imperative to a cow returning to estrus and cycling after calving. Hormone regulation and production are also significantly affected by the presence or absence of trace minerals.

After calving, a cow returns to cycling and begins a regular estrous cycle which is kick-started by hypothalamus function. The hypothalamus produces gonadotropic-releasing hormone (GnRH), which requires calcium (Ca) and copper (Cu) to stimulate release. GnRH causes the anterior pituitary gland to produce follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) which stimulates the development and maturation of a follicle, and luteinizing hormone (LH) which causes ovulation of a follicle to occur. Ca, Cu and zinc (Zn) are crucial for FSH and LH production. Once a follicle is selected and ovulates, a corpus luteum (CL) forms on the ovary. Manganese (Mn) and magnesium (Mg) stimulate the CL to produce progesterone allowing pregnancy to be sustained if the egg has been fertilized.

Once a cow delivers a calf, there is a large increase in blood flow to her udder to support milk production. This creates an increased requirement for potassium (K), which directly aids in the spiking of estrogen during the fertile period of the cycle. In order for a cow to resume cycling and become fertile, uterine involution must occur. Cu, Zn and Mn are required for post-calving uterine involution and re-breeding.

With so many intricate pathways in the reproductive cycle of a cow, it is crucial to provide all essential nutrients in the highest quality and most absorbable form. Since trace minerals are essential for the production and regulation of hormones, providing them at the right times and in the highest quality form is imperative. These reproductive functions also maintain overall animal health, which leads to a shorter season following calving and increases the likelihood of embryonic survival and a new pregnancy.


Industry News Alert > > >

With articles like, “The Case for Eating Butter Just Got Stronger,” in Time Magazine and, “Butter is Back,” in the NY Times, consumers are increasing their intake of butter fat. The National Center for Biotechnology Information believes “market implications [will cause the change of] milk and dairy products” meaning whatever the consumers want, they’ll get in order to maximize per capita sales of dairy products. This consumer trend is good news for the dairy industry as milk fat prices continue to stay positive.

The more producers are getting for milk fat, the more milk fat they want to make! But did you know that the mineral source you use for your herd can directly affect the amount of milk fat you produce? MINTREX® chelated trace minerals are proven to improve milk fat while increasing cost savings. Check out the facts here.

Benefits of MINTREX® in Dairy!


Novus Is with You When it Matters!


Connecting at NCBA

Our Novus North America team met with cattle industry professionals and academics at the NCBA Convention in Phoenix, Arizona. They discussed how high-quality feed ingredients like MINTREX® and ALIMET® can improve beef cattle productivity and performance. Barbara’s Custom Hats joined us for free hat cleaning and shaping for all who stopped by the Novus booth. If you missed the chance to talk to our cattle experts, visit www.novusint.com/species/beef to learn more. Looking forward to seeing you next year in New Orleans, Louisiana!


Novus Sponsors the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar

Novus is a proud sponsor of the annual Western Canadian Dairy Seminar in Alberta, Canada. This year Novus sponsored Dr. Àlex Bach from the Institute for Research and Technology in Agrifood in Session III, who spoke on Adapting [to] Current Practices to Automatic Milking Systems: Pros and Cons. If you would like more information on the event or the presentation, please contact our sales rep, Bob Ehr at robert.ehr@novusint.com. We hope to see you next year!

Getting to Know Dr. Lyle Rode


What is your official title at Novus?
NORAM Technical Services Manager, Ruminant

How long have you been with Novus?
Four years in my current position but over 20 years’ experience with Novus.

What is your background in the industry?
Seventeen years as a research scientist with Agriculture Canada; 10 years as private consultant; 4 years as feed mill nutritionist; 4 years with Novus.

Which product of Novus’s is your favorite?
I have really enjoyed working with AGRADO® Plus and its role in oxidative stress. However, my heart is in methionine and HMTBa.

What accomplishment or moment in your career are you most proud of?
In the mid 90s, I developed the methodology used to measure the ruminal bypass value for HMTBa, demonstrating its' value as a methionine source for ruminants. This technique is still used to this day to measure the bioavailability of methionine, lysine and mineral products like MINTREX®. The bypass value of HMTBa has stood the test of time and been shown repeatedly in numerous refereed publications and two meta-analyses.

What is the oddest or hardest question a customer or collaborator has ever asked you?
Oddest and hardest are a bit different. Oddest in recent memory was from a consumer that had been told that the reason their butter was too hard was because cows in Canada were fed turnips and she was wondering if that was true. Hardest questions usually are associated with what we can do nutritionally regarding cystic ovaries. I am a rumen guy, so I prefer to answer that with, “I will get back to you.” then call one of my veterinarian friends who are much smarter than me in this area.

The most off-topic question I ever got was to help the Vancouver Zoo to put together a milk replacer for baby seals.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing the animal agriculture industry today?

By far the biggest issue is to bridge the gap between nutritional knowledge and agricultural science with consumer fears and lack of knowledge in how food is produced. As scientists, we have failed miserably in explaining risk vs benefit. As an industry, we have failed in keeping up with consumer concerns by putting our heads in the sand and assuming that science would beat social media.

What would be your first move if you were tasked with helping the industry overcome that challenge?
I try to do what I can on a personal level on Facebook and other social media (I am not a Twitter guy) but I think supporting scientists like Drs. Kevin Folta and Joseph Schwartz would help.

When you are not promoting Novus products what do you like to do?
If health was in a different place, I would be a running machine. That is my love and my “personal space.” More time reading history books would be a good thing. However, of late my non-Novus world has been consumed with getting my daughter and son-in-law settled in a new community.

If you could go to dinner with any 3 people dead or alive, who would you choose?
This would depend upon my head space at the time. I have a few friends that would be great to include, who are incredibly insightful and better than me at asking those prodding questions. However, in my current mood I will pick those alive and from completely different backgrounds and insight. Jordan Peterson, a psychologist from the U of Toronto because of his awakening thinking; Gwyn Dyer from a global political perspective; and Sandra Bullock as she is the most intelligent person I am aware of from the entertainment world. I debated on bumping her for David Suzuki just so that we could straighten him out but I would rather have an enjoyable meal.

If you had to choose only one book for your library, what would it be?
The biggest, fattest history book that I could find.

What is your favorite beef/dairy/pork/poultry product to eat?
Definitely beef bourguignon. You can’t beat rich, hearty beef with red wine and mushrooms, but any beef stew will do.


The 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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