A Western District farmer is among the top contendors in a competition testing the results of topping up trace minerals in cattle and sheep.
Animal health company Virbac Australia says over the past 12 months, seven livestock producers have been competing in the 12-month program, designed to test the benefits of Multimin, an injection used to top up trace minerals in sheep and cattle prior to high demand periods.
The program has seen improvements in everything from pregnancy-test rates to conception rates and immune function.
Dairy farmer Renee Murfett has been named as one of Virbac’s top three challengers along with Ryan Willing (WA) and Don McConnel (QLD) and they are now in the running to win an overseas study tour tailored to their farming system, and free Multimin for a year, a total prize value of more than $20 000.
Renee runs two dairy farms in Framlingham, Victoria with her husband Alister, comprising a 145 hectare home farm, Springlea, which has 220 Frisian x Red Dairy milking cows, and a second 183 hectare farm, Merton Park, with 250 Frisian x Red Dairy cows.
Renee’s goal has been to increase the immunity, health and productivity of their livestock, and she describes how she saw significant differences as early as the first 12 weeks.
“The treated calves didn’t seem to suffer from the usual gastric signs that the untreated herd had at the time of weaning. Multimin helped with the adjustment to weaner rations, and they went straight on to the new diet without any issues.”
Ryan Willing and his wife Elisha run Carnigup, a 1,050-ha property that’s home to a 300 breeder self-replacing herd east of Esperance, WA. Facing issues with copper and selenium that were impacting the fertility, weight gain and overall health of their herd, their goal has been to increase fertility, conception rates and productivity.