Senwes Scenario June/July 2018 - Page 36

AGRICULTURAL 32 | Lick supplements and, if necessary, to adjust his/her lick supplement.. THE MOST IMPORTANT MYTHS One of the most important myths relating to strategic lick supplements, is that licks are often seen as a wonder cure, a magic wand which can address a lack of proper fundamental management principles. The best products and lick programmes can- not make up for sub-standard livestock management practices or poor grazing management. The average lick intake of a cattle unit is between 3.5% - 5% of the total annual dry material intake. We lose the battle on the remaining 95% and often expect licks to fix everything. In the second place, we often see the generalisation rule. This is when produc- ers believe that, should a specific product (or in many instances a home-mixed ration) work for his/her neighbour, it will work for him as well. If this is not the case such a product quickly gets a poor rep- utation. We cannot follow a shotgun-ap- proach in respect of lick supplements. Every farm is unique in many respects, from management right through to the type of grazing and type of animal. It is therefore critically important to align your lick programme with your farm and the requirements of your type of animal. More importantly, it must be possible to adjust your lick programme from year to year, should it be necessary. In the third place, and definitely one of the most important debates around lick supplements, is and will always be costs. I am an advocate of supplements which are economically justifiable and want to prevent production being bought at all costs, but there is a very fine balance which has to be maintained. A lot has been written about the economic benefits of the correct strategic lick supplement and a lot of research has been done in this area, which highlighted the benefits of critical economic parameters, such as conception figures, calving/lambing percentages, weaning weights and recon- 34 SENWES SCENARIO | WINTER 2018 ception percentages. The objective of the article is not to emphasise the financial benefits of lick supplements, but rather to leave the following thoughts: Are licks really expensive, or is it expensive not to provide licks? We are all aware of the correlation between body condition count and conception percentages. The second thought regarding the economy of lick supplements is the cost debate. We have to make sure that a cheaper lick does not become a very expensive option in the end - know what you are paying for. We are often guilty of watering licks down in order to save money. Licks are an all- or-nothing approach, but in the long run there is a high price to be paid. CONCLUSION No lick programme will be successful if we do not meet the basic requirements of the animal. The single biggest reason for licks not meeting their purpose, is simply because of a lack of natural grazing. We often hear the remark β€œThe cattle will eat me bankrupt”, and where well-formulated products are adjusted to save costs. Make sure that your lick programme is adjusted for your type of animal, type of production system and, very important, is aligned with the quality and quantity of your nat- ural resource offering. It is normal for two neighbours t Ό™½±±½άΡέΌΡ½Ρ…±±δ‘₯™™•Ι•ΉΠ)±₯¬ΝΡΙ…Ρ•₯•Μ…Ёё”Ν…΅”Ρ₯΅”‘Υ”ΡΌ™…Œ΄)Ρ½ΊΝՍ …́ё”½Ή‘₯Ρ₯½Έ½˜Ρ‘”…Ή₯΅…±Μ°)ΑΙ½‘ՍΡ₯½ΈΝΡ…ΡΎ½˜Ρ‘”…Ή₯΅…±Μ½ΘΡ‘”)ΕΥ…±₯Ρ䁽˜Ι…ι₯ΉœΈՅɐ……₯ΉΝЁ•Ή•Ι…°΄)₯Ν…Ρ₯½ΈΈΌΡ‘”½ΙΙ•Π•½Ή½΅₯Œ…±Υ±„΄)Ρ₯½ΉΜ™½Θε½Υȁ™…Ι΄°ε½Υȁ½Ή‘₯Ρ₯½ΉΜ°Ι…Ρ‘•Θ)Ρ‘…Έ‰…Ν₯Ήœε½Υȁ‘•₯Ν₯½ΈΡΌΑΥɍ‘…Ν”½Έ)Ρ‘”‘•…Α•ΝЁΑΙ½‘Սи …±Υ±…Ρ”Ρ‘”₯ΉΡ…­”)•ΝΡ₯΅…ѕ́™½Θε½Υȁ…Ή₯΅…±Μ₯ΈΑΙ½Α½ΙΡ₯½ΈΡΌ)Ρ‘”™½Ι΅Υ±…Ρ₯½Έ½˜Ρ‘”±₯¬…Ή‰…Ν”ε½ΥΘ)…±Υ±…Ρ₯½Έ½Έ±₯¬½ΝЁΑ•Θ…Ή₯΅…°Α•Θ)‘…丁Q‘”‘•…Α•ΝЁ±₯¬₯́Ή½Π…±έ…έё”)‘•…Α•ΝЁ₯ΈΙ•…±₯Ρ丁%Έ½Ή±ΥΝ₯½Έ°ε½ΥΘ)±₯¬ΝΥΑΑ±•΅•ΉΠ΅ΥΝЁ‰”…ΑΑΙ½…‘•₯Έ„)‘½±₯ΝΡ₯Œ΅…ΉΉ•Θ…ΉΝ‘½Υ±Ή½Π‰”Α±…•)₯Έ„±₯ΡΡ±”‰½ΰΈ1₯­Μ…Ι”©ΥΝЁ…Ή½Ρ‘•ΘΡ½½°)₯Έ½Υȁѽ½±‰½ΰέ‘₯ …Έ‰”ΥΝ•ΡΌ΅…ΰ΄)₯΅₯Ν”ΑΙ½™₯Π°Ν‘½Υ±Ρ‘”½Ρ‘•ΘΡ½½±Μ…±ΝΌ‰”)ΑΙ•Ν•ΉΠ₯ΈΡ‘”Ρ½½±‰½ΰΈ