SDSU Heifer Development With Precision Supplementation

April 05, 2023

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SDSU’s recent “Range Roundup” article focusing on developing heifers with precision supplementation, is one that is definitely worth the read for both researchers and producers!

In this article, the team at SDSU provides an overview of their project that focuses on measuring “real-time” individual cattle performance, supplementing heifers on an individual basis, and most importantly, conducting an economic analysis to determine the ROI of investing in precision animal management technology. Utilizing C-Lock Inc.’s “Super Smartfeed Producer”, the crew at SDSU was able to feed each individual heifer 5 pounds of a pelleted DDG supplement while simultaneously gathering real-time body weights via our “SmartScale” system as the heifers grazed on native rangeland. Another bunch of heifers were then supplemented in a group setting via daily feed delivery to a standard feed bunk at the same rate of 5 pounds per head. In the first year of this multi-year project, the commercial feasibility of precision supplementation was evaluated. This included a direct comparison of animal adaptation requirements, time/labor allocation, and animal performance differences (ex. ADG).

As a producer myself, I always appreciate when academia focuses its effort on increasing efficiency and profitability on the ranch. This project is one that will surely contribute toward helping our cow/calf producers maintain (and likely increase) profitability even in today’s operating environment of high labor and feed costs. Be on the lookout for future updates and project findings related to this project soon!

By: Jeff Clark - Business Development & Sales Specialist

SDSU Cottonwood Field Station Winter Supplementation Trial

A Super SmartFeed Producer at the SDSU Cottonwood Field Station.
Figure 1. The Super SmartFeed Producer at the SDSU Cottonwood Field Station.

During the past fall and winter (2021-2022) the Super SmartFeed Producer has been used in conjunction with two SmartScales for a precision supplementation heifer development project. The objective of the study was to 1) measure real-time individual cattle performance, 2) supplement cattle on an individual basis and 3) perform an economic analysis to determine a return on investment.

Read the full article here: