Despite changes in technology that have benefited the beef industry, producers and feeders remain independent thinkers and rely on proven products that help improve performance. One of those products is the ionophore Rumensin®, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary as a feed additive that improves feed efficiency and prevents and controls coccidiosis.

Introduced by Elanco Animal Health in 1976, the monensin product was labeled for improving feed efficiency and later for control of coccidiosis, an intestinal disease. David Yandell, Elanco marketing associate, notes that Rumensin is now used in about 95% of feedyards across the U.S.

“It helps control daily intakes by improving feed efficiency,” he says. “If we look at feedyard ration cost of about $300/ton, Rumensin provides about a $15 net return.”

Ted McCollum, Texas AgriLife beef cattle specialist in Amarillo, notes that research through Oklahoma State University shows that over a three-year grazing period involving cattle on wheat pasture, weight gain response to the ionophore showed .22 lb./day higher gain than cattle on a mineral supplement only. It was .45 lb./day over cattle exposed to no mineral or Rumensin.