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March North American Beef E-newsletter

Utilizing Trace Minerals for Increased Reproductive Efficiency

After calving, producers strive to get their herd rebred 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 then 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 the 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 rebreeding. With so many intricate pathways in the reproductive cycle of a cow, it is crucial to provide all essential nutrients in the highest quality, most absorbable form. Since trace minerals are essential for the production and regulation of hormones, providing them at the right times and in 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 > > >

Labeling on beef products is something we all see when we go to the grocery store: “GMO-free,” “organic,” “grass-finished,” etc. NCBA’s Director of Sustainability, Ashley McDonald, says the claims on labeling are adding to consumer confusion but aren’t going away anytime soon, and she expects to continue to see a focus on antibiotics as well as grass-fed and organic.

Within the movement to categorizing these management practices, like grass-fed, all-natural and organic, some producers may be looking for alternative technologies to antibiotics or implants that can deliver the same benefit. The MINTREX® chelated trace mineral line is Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) approved, so if a farm or ranch has plans to reduce antibiotic use or shift to organic or all-natural production, it could be an ideal solution.

Minerals in Reproduction



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®, MAAC® and AGRADO® Plus 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!


Getting to Know Dr. Will Seymour

What is your official title at Novus?
Game show host. No, Ruminant Technical Manager.

How long have you been with Novus?
Three and a half years.

What is your background in the industry?
I received my BS at Cornell University and my MS and PhD at Virginia Tech University (real name is Virginia Polytechnic Institute). Since graduating, I have been fortunate to have varied experiences in research, feed formulation, regulatory affairs and technical services.

Which product of Novus’s is your favorite?

What accomplishment or moment in your career are you most proud of?
Involvement in the research and dissemination of concepts that benefit dairy producers.

What is the oddest or hardest question a customer or collaborator has ever asked you?
Regulatory demands, current and future, especially those related to animal well-being and environment.

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.

When you are not promoting Novus products what do you like to do?
Spending time with my wife, Erin, and our adult children, Andrew and Grace, and their families.

What is your favorite beef/dairy/pork/poultry product to eat?
Ice cream, absolutely.


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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