Advantages of Feeding Organic Livestock Feed
A healthy food chain begins at the source! Farm animals are healthier when fed organic livestock feed that is high in vitamins and minerals on a regular basis. As the food chain comes full circle, healthier animals ultimately result in healthier humans.
Organic Livestock Farming
Organic livestock may be raised to provide milk, meat, fiber, and other products while preserving the environment and avoiding the use of the majority of synthetic ingredients, such as pesticides and antibiotics. To qualify for organic certification and call your animals organic, you must adhere to a stringent set of USDA-mandated laws and requirements.
Demand for organic animal products is rising as consumers, livestock producers, and the government become more concerned about health threats, environmental problems, and economic concerns.
If you currently grow grass-fed beef and do not use antibiotics or hormone implants on your cattle, you may believe that being a USDA-certified organic beef producer would help you differentiate yourself from the competition. What could be more organic than not providing commercial feeds to your cattle and avoiding the inputs associated with traditional beef? There are a few other significant distinctions to consider before applying for organic certification. All organic procedures must be in place and evaluated by a certifying authority prior to applying. Becoming a certified organic grower is by no means simple, but it offers many advantages!
Organic Livestock Feed
Consider for a minute what goes into the bodies of your livestock. Let's begin with the most significant input: food! What precisely do they consume? If your cattle eat pasture grasses and hay, you must get organic certification for grazing pastures and hayfields. This means no herbicides, insecticides, or commercial fertilizers for three years, and all seeds must be organic. The three years will commence on the day that any of those materials was last applied. Bear in mind that a soil supplement, such as lime, is permissible, as is chicken litter, but municipal sludge is NOT organic. If you use a bag of feed to call them in, it must be organically certified.
Organic Livestock Supplements
If you want to become certified organic, you must think about what goes into your cattle, including the mineral supplement you use. This is a difficult task that the composition of your soil will determine. What minerals your soil is deficient in, your grass will be deficient in as well.
You must be aware of this in order to satisfy the mineral requirements of your animals. If they have rusting hair on their shoulders, your soil may be low in copper. To be certain, do a soil test on your grazing fields. A comprehensive mineral profile may also be performed on the liver of a harvested beeve. This will inform you more accurately which minerals are abundant in your animals and which are deficient. Your local extension agent may point you in the direction of the NCDA Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Most traditional pre-mixed supplements include urea and other chemicals to make them more appealing, but they are not organic.
Benefits Of Organic Livestock Feed
Organic livestock production and pasture-based systems have several advantages:
Organic farmers and ranchers adopt procedures that have a low effect on the environment. They put in place procedures to reduce manure runoff by utilizing it as fertilizer or composting it to save nutrients. Farmers also adopt sustainable methods like crop rotation and cover crops to preserve soil fertility and safeguard soil and water quality.
Organic livestock feeds promote ruminant digestive health by decreasing acidity in the rumen (first stomach). This decrease in acidity boosts the number of helpful microbes that aid in the fermentation of ruminants' high-fiber diet. Pasture-based systems have been demonstrated to minimize hock lesions and other forms of lameness, as well as mastitis, veterinary costs, and cull rates.
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