“Feed it and forget it” is an apt description of Ridley Block's new BioBarrel. Recommended for use in pasture or range-grazing situations, BioBarrel is a patented, biodegradable container that allows producers to provide 200 lbs. net of Crystalyx® supplement in a true, single-trip container to grazing cattle. The biodegradable containers eliminate costs and labor necessary to retrieve reusable steel containers or disposable plastic tubs.

The BioBarrel is made of ground straw coated with a soy flour solution, then pressed and molded. No chemicals or adhesives are used in making the container, which is safe for ingestion by cattle and designed to degrade as livestock consume the Crystalyx.

“It's a great improvement, because you don't have those empty barrels scattered all over your pasture,” says Jim Williams, manager of the V8 Ranch in Boling, TX. He along with his dad, Sloan, manage the family-owned outfit that raises purebred Brahman and Shorthorn cattle, and also run a large commercial cattle herd.

Williams calls the single-trip container performance “outstanding.”

“We've switched over completely to the biodegradable containers,” Williams says. “The cattle will eat the whole product, and I don't have to mess with gathering up 40 tubs every month.”

Williams says he relies on the Crystalyx to supplement his cattle when grazing gets short or forage is dormant. He says it helps cattle do better on poorer-quality grazing.

“The cattle tend to eat it when they need it; they don't overeat. It props up our nutritional program and helps our herd health and reproduction, too. It's another piece, just like our good vaccination and worming programs,” Williams says.

Fred Helbling of Helbling Hereford Ranch says he and brothers, Jim and Wayne, first used Crystalyx products on their Mandan, ND, purebred operation more than 20 years ago during drought to support grass conditions and maintain herd health. They liked the results, and have continued to use the products to supplement late-summer and fall grazing with added bonuses in grass management and herd health.

The Helblings participated in a field demonstration for the BioBarrel. Fred reports the single-trip containers were “cowboy friendly,” convenient, environmentally safe and provided quality and results similar to their experience with product in the returnable steel barrels.

That's in keeping with attributes of the single-trip containers cited by Dan Dhuyvetter, Ridley Block Operations research and development manager. He adds the containers can withstand normal precipitation, but aren't designed for placement in standing water or excessively muddy conditions.

The BioBarrel is the result of nearly a decade of collaborative research and development by Kansas State University and Ridley Block Operations. Dhuyvetter says field tests indicate consumption and feeding rates are similar for either the BioBarrel or the returnable steel barrel.
Joe Roybal
(Circle Reply Card No. 101)

Fight scours

ScourGuard® 4KC from Pfizer Animal Health is a scour vaccine with protection against both rotavirus G6 and G10 serotypes, Escherichia coli K99, coronavirus and Clostridium perfringens Type C. These pathogens are the leading causes of scours, responsible for more than 60% of calf mortality in cow-calf and dairy operations.
(Circle Reply Card No. 102)

Mix wet, sticky products

Roto-Mix LLC introduces the GeneRation II, capable of mixing wet, sticky products such as wet distiller's grain. The staggered rotor improves lifting and tumbling action with less mixer revolutions, a faster mix using less fuel, an elimination of springs and spring boxes for lower maintenance costs, and a super-duty drive package on certain models to increase load capacity.
(Circle Reply Card No. 103)

Sweeper attachment

The Bobcat® 84-in. sweeper attachment features a floating bristle head, direct-drive motor, solid mounted hood, and optional wheel kit and gutter brush accessories. It fits Bobcat skid-steer loader models S220 through S300, compact track loader models T250 through T300, and the A300 all-wheel steer loader.
(Circle Reply Card No. 106)

Longer immunity duration

Intervet's Vista® vaccine now boasts longer respiratory and reproductive durations of immunity (DOI). Recent USDA-awarded DOI claims extend the respiratory protection of Vista, ensuring the longest protection from the most common and costly respiratory diseases affecting cattle.

Vista's respiratory DOI has been demonstrated to be at least 182 days for infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), 206 days for BVD Type 1 and at least 200 days for BVD Type 2. In addition, extended reproductive DOI has been demonstrated for IBR (217 days), BVD Type 1 (206 days) and BVD Type 2 (112 days).

Vista is a modified-live respiratory and reproductive vaccine introduced in 2005 that is Beef Quality Assurance compliant. Vaccinations consist of a single, 2-mL dose administered in the neck subcutaneously.
(Circle Reply Card No. 104)

Easy-to-use tag

Animal Profiling International has developed a WriteTAG System, designed to be the easiest to use electronic identification system on the market. This low-frequency system makes it possible for an animal to carry important data such as age, source and health history on its ear tag while upholding privacy standards producers demand.

The system can include a series of hardware and software products to assist a variety of users. Health-history information is written to the tag with any of the system's WriteTAG read/write units, and confidentiality and control of all information is kept by data encryption on the tag.
(Circle Reply Card No. 105)

Automation compatibility

Gallagher and Midwest Microsystems are providing additional automation compatibility between Midwest's Cow Sense® herd management software and the Gallagher 700 indicator. Users can now use the Gallagher 700 to record data in the field and download it directly into their Cow Sense herd file.

The Gallagher 700 is also compatible with radio-frequency ID readers to record the electronic ID with the animal's visual ID or tag number, and transfer it to the Cow Sense program.
(Circle Reply Card No. 107)

New CORID® formulation

Merial, maker of CORID®, now offers an in-feed formulation to make coccidiosis treatment and prevention easier for beef and dairy producers. The new formulations can be blended with feed or used as a top-dress to break the coccidia life cycle, and prevent or treat an outbreak of bloody scours.

As the only coccidiostat labeled for both preventive and treatment therapy, producers can now administer CORID in feed, in water or as a drench, with three offerings available: CORID 1.25% top-dress, CORID 2.5% in-feed, and CORID 9.6% solution.

As a preventive therapy, CORID stops coccidia at a critical stage in the host animal's small intestine to prevent more damaging coccidiosis in the large intestine, helping the animal develop natural immunity. As a treatment, CORID mimics thiamin (Vitamin B1), which is required by coccidia for normal growth and reproduction, causing a thiamin deficiency that starves the coccidia.
(Circle Reply Card No. 108)

Farm/ranch welder

Miller introduces the Shopmate 300 and Shopmate 300 DX, welders that combine powerful capabilities with the sophisticated yet easy-to-understand controls and convenience of single-phase power (208/230 VAC or 230/460/575 VAC).

The Shopmate 300 DX has a range of 5-400 amps and can switch between MIG, flux cored, stick and TIG welding. The Shopmate 300 is for MIG only at the same amperage output. Both units feature large digital meters and advanced arc control features.
(Circle Reply Card No. 109)

Coproducts made easy

Feeding coproducts has distinct advantages for producers, but also creates unique nutritional requirements. Hubbard Feeds' new GainRite Coproduct Balancers are formulated specifically for distiller's grains and corn gluten diets.

GainRite offers flexibility, with different inclusion rate and forms, and is specifically formulated with minerals to promote growth and feed intake, along with vitamin E to aid performance. It also offers supplemental calcium to offset high phosphorus levels in coproducts, and a thiamine supplement.

Since feeding coproducts is a relatively new practice, Hubbard Feeds offers a team of experts to serve as a resource for producers, along with a growing database of technical info on feeding coproducts.
(Circle Reply Card No. 110)