Last month, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota were hit with record levels of flooding. Not only did this close highways, flood homes, and cause millions in damage, but it also heavily affected farming in the Central Plains. Many people don’t think about flood waters on farmland, but they can affect yields and livestock. At Agri-King, we are particularly concerned about the effects on livestock and their nutrition.
Flooding can affect different types of livestock in different ways, and the severity of the flooding may also contribute to the severity of problems. In terms of swine and poultry, flooding will usually cause death. This is especially true when there are large amounts of flooding because the water is just too high. For cattle, mud and flooding can also cause death. However, this is where the level of flooding will determine the severity of issues.
Minor flooding and the subsequent mud that follows can cause a variety of problems. The Beef NRC actually has mud adjustment factors to account for the increase in net maintenance energy requirements caused by mud. And this makes sense–it takes more energy to walk around or walk to the bunk when cattle have to trudge through heavy mud or water. This means more nutritious feed is necessary to balance this new energy use. Also, dry matter intakes are often decreased, and the number of meals are reduced (although meal size is often larger). This can pave the way for undesirable conditions such as ruminal acidosis. Lastly, the effects are not just on energy.
Another factor that flooding can impact is stress. During times of stress the immune system is stimulated and uses a lot of glucose, which can impact gains and milk production. Obviously we don’t want to see that, and that’s why there needs to be a plan in place to take immediate action and make sure that cattle are tended to.
Because energy requirements are increased and cows are stressed in times of flooding and mud, it is important to feed a properly fortified diet with high quality forages. One way to make this happen is to feed forages treated with Silo-King®.
Silo-King is Agri-King’s multi-purpose forage and grain treatment program for use on corn silage, haylage, large and small square bales, round bales, baleage, high moisture cracked grains and small grain silages. All forms of Silo-King® are non-corrosive, non-toxic and safe for all livestock. Silo-King retains energy, and nutrients, reduces heating, helps minimize dry matter loss and leaf loss (in alfalfa hay) and can improve feed efficiency.
Silo-King® is available in four forms to best fit your operation including our standard, granular Silo-King® that works on corn silage, haylage, alfalfa hay, grass hay, balage, high moisture cracked grains and small grain silages; Next, Silo-King® WS which is a water soluble version that works on haylage, corn silage and high moisture corn; Silo-King® Plus which offers a convenient method of applying directly to crops, such as hay, haylage, corn silage and high moisture corn; and, Silo-King® Special which is the organic version approved by the Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA) “for use in organic production.”
Silo-King® has a wide variety of applicators that are able to fit the needs of almost any farming operation. Our applicators are no mix, no water, no corrosion, and more. Agri-King works with you to achieve ensiling the best forage under various conditions. We offer a Silo-King® applicator for every size operation as well – Goliath, David, Sidekick, and the Gandy® P-45.
If you have been affected by the historic flooding in Iowa and Nebraska, contact Agri-King. We work with you to find the best solution for your operation and your livestock.