Ralco introduces Summit Mineral for beef cattle
Ralco is expanding its beef product line with the introduction of Summit Mineral. The line of mineral supplements is formulated with the company’s patented ruminant technology and optimizes mineral nutritive levels, ratios, and bioavailability to help cattle achieve peak performance every season.
Jeff Hill says the goal behind Summit is to take the complexity out of minerals. “I’ve spent over 20 years in beef nutrition and mineral formulation. That, in combination with the 150 years of experience on our beef technical team at Ralco, we’ve put in the work so producers don’t have to worry about being mineral experts,” says Hill, Ralco beef nutritionist and brand manager.
Mineral nutrition is critical for cow/calf performance. It can impact milk production, bone development, fetal development, disease resistance, fertility, immunity, and more.
“Until recently, the true bioavailability of the mineral supply from a forage base to the animal was not well understood,” says Hebbie Purvis, senior beef nutritionist, Ralco. “This shortcoming is where most mineral supplements miss the mark. We formulate Summit differently by accounting for both the animal’s requirement and the actual mineral levels and bioavailability supplied by its forage base to ensure all requirements are being met. This helps avoid excess cost and waste to the producer associated with oversupplementation of unneeded nutrients.”
For example, too much calcium in a mineral formulation impacts phosphorus absorption in cattle. “Oversupplementation of calcium in a mineral is common but often unnecessary when it’s at adequate levels in the forage,” Purvis says. “This formulation error inhibits the absorption of phosphorous, which is the most expensive mineral to a producer.”
Hill adds that, “Beyond mineral bioavailability in forage and the animal, the source of trace minerals is also critical to protect rumen function. Trace minerals like copper and zinc have antimicrobial properties that can negatively impact the microbial population in the rumen if improperly sourced. Summit specifically focuses on key trace minerals that are designed to bypass the rumen, and Ralco’s patented technology then takes rumen efficiency to the next level.”
The company entered the beef industry 50 years ago with its patented Microbial Catalyst technology. This approach enhances microbial processes in the rumen to release more enzymes for increased fiber breakdown and dry matter intake. The result is more energy being released from feedstuffs for production and growth.
Over the past five decades, research has shown that cattle fed Microbial Catalyst have a higher average daily gain, greater weaning weights, better reproduction performance, and improved body condition scores, which leads to greater profits for cow/calf producers.
“We took this founding technology and evolved it to Catyl-Zyme for even greater fiber digestibility and performance inside Summit,” Hill says.
Beyond Microbial Catalyst, Catyl-Zyme fuels rumen microbes by incorporating a yeast culture that improves microbial growth over the original technology alone. This increase leads to even better rumen function, fiber digestibility, volatile fatty acid production, gain, milk production, and reproductive performance.
“Ultimately, the idea behind Summit came from a desire to make both a quality mineral and provide a level of service producers deserve,” Hill says. “Our beef nutritionists on staff will consult individually with producers on operational goals, seasonal challenges, and forage quality issues to ensure they get the best mineral program for their farm.”
Summit has five standard mineral products with the flexibility to build add-on options for seasonal challenges like fly control and heat stress mitigation. Learn more by visiting ralcoagriculture.com.