Questions and Answers for the Farmer

Bio-Ag mixes a number of livestock premixes on site which are verified to be approved for use in organic agriculture by OCPP/Pro-Cert Canada Inc. to the following standards: OC/Pro, USDA NOP, EEC 2092/91, Canadian Organic Standard (COS) and CARTV

Organic Producers: When you call in and order, please be sure to specify whether you want conventional or "approved for use in organic agriculture" premixes. Also, please let us know who you are certified with, so that we can keep our records up to date and ensure you are receiving premix that meets your certifiers standards.
Q: Are Bio-Ag minerals more expensive than the competitor's minerals? And if so, why?
A: “Bio-Ag premixes can be slightly more expensive per bag. However, it is very important to look at the components [ingredients] of Bio-Ag premixes. The feeding rates per head per day are usually much lower than competitor’s products. This is due to the high quality and concentration of Bio-Ag’s ingredients.”
There is no salt and no filler in our premixes and though the cost per bag may be more, the cost per animal has been proven over and over again to be cheaper. The animals are much healthier and there is less need for your veterinarian to be around.
Bio-Ag mineral premixes contain some basic components that are the foundation of all premixes such as Calcium, Di-cal, and Vitamins A, D, & E. On top of this base we add a variety of things including a whole range of B Vitamins. Vitamin B is very important for animals that are in stressed conditions. Stressed conditions can include animals that are no longer walking around in pasture and are not exposed to sunshine.
There are many feed additives that do not include heavy metals such as cadmium or lead. Bio-Ag uses only chelates that do not contain heavy metals and have the ability to work with the Kreb cycle. The Kreb cycle has everything to do with getting nutrition inside the intercellular workings of the cell in such a way that the cell can actually respirate and utilizes the vitamins and minerals. The chelates we use increase bioavailability and also cleanse the liver. Also we pay attention to the fact that citric acid is one of the prerequisites of making any cell in the body work in terms of getting nutrients in and waste products out and maximize the use of your valuable feed inputs.
In our premix also included are chelated trace minerals, trace minerals that have the ability to help IgG, IgA, & IgM productions (Immuno globulin Productions). These serve to protect and help the immune system fight off infections.
Our premixes contain a Lactobacillus acidophillus, which has the ability to help the animal develop a stronger B cell – or Bursal cell system. We believe the Bursal cell is one of the most neglected but most important. There are 3 Immune systems in the body, 1) Bursal, 2) Bowels-blood stream 3) Humeral (mental/emotional). This has been virtually ignored by many medical experts in the human as well as animal nutrition field.
Therefore the little extras we add in our premixes help to naturally balance any vitamin and mineral deficiencies that may exist in your livestock, and strengthen and protect the animal's immune system. This makes a world of difference in the health of your animals and in the profit of your business.
When all of these factors are taken into account, feeding our premixes builds a wall of immunity against infection and disease. With the features mentioned, as well as other benefits, we have ensured that your animals will get a better start and finish with the use of our premixes.
“With the features mentioned, as well as other benefits, we have ensured…”
What are Probiotics?
A: The word probiotic is derived from the Greek meaning "for life". Probiotics are "mono- or mixed cultures of live microorganisms which, when applied to animal or man, beneficially affect the host by improving the properties of the indigenous microflora". The common terms for probiotics are "friendly", "beneficial" or "healthy" bacteria. Probiotic bacteria are generally, though not exclusively, lactic acid bacteria and include Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. casei, L. bulgaricus, L. plantarum , L. salivarius, L. rhamnosus, L. reuteri, Bifidobacterium bifidum, B. longum, B. infantis and S. thermophilus. A probiotic can be a live (viable) culture of microbial species, a dead (nonviable) product of microbial fermentation or an extract of plant origin.
Q: What is Enzolac?
A: Enzolac (for export only) is a unique product that combines both the probiotic (a lactobacillus fermentation product) and live plant enzymes on a GMO free (genetically modified organisms) wheat carrier. It is made on-site in our drying facility. The enzymes enhance the efficiency of the probiotic and create a balance in the digestive system to ensure optimum health and productivity.
Q: What is Lactic Acid Lactobacilli?
A: Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria are Gram-positive lactic acid-producing bacteria that constitute a major part of the normal intestinal microflora in humans and animals. They play an important role in resistance to colonization against exogenous, potentially pathogenic organisms. Lactic Acid Lactobacilli is a microbial growth stimulant manufactured by using a special patented fermentation process from cultured whey. This lactic acid, lactobacillus fermentation product has been dried onto GMO free (genetically modified organisms) wheat shorts in our on-site drying facility.
Q: What is Lactobacillus acidophillus?
A: Lactobacillus acidophillus are naturally occurring friendly bacteria that reside in the upper section of the digestive tract. Friendly bacteria provide a barrier against bad bacteria and also assist in the digestion and absorption of food. Some commercial yogurt companies warrant that their products contain live active lactobacilli. Lactobacillus is an example of a probiotic that helps to recolonize the gastrointestinal tract with beneficial bacteria.
Q: What are Prebiotics?
A: A Prebiotic is a nondigestible feed ingredient that beneficially affects the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the digestive tract and thus improves host health.
For More Information Go To Probiotics
What can you do about Mastitis? ( Contact a Rep from Bio-Ag for specific information.)
A: The causes of mastitis are complex and varied, but a good control program can minimize problems and losses. Management of three broad areas of dairy production is the key to mastitis control. These areas are the environment, cow susceptibility, and microorganisms that invade the teat end to establish mammary gland infection. A good control program will minimize the incidence of mastitis.
90% of the time most mastitis problems can be resolved by boosting the cow's immune system with homeopathic medicine, Protein Feed Supplement and vitamins C and B.
Two very important factors to investigate are possible electrical problems and mold problems.
There are several types of mastitis. It is to the dairyperson's advantage to be able to distinguish between the different types of mastitis and to be aware of the conditions that can promote the development of the microorganisms responsible.
Many factors can predispose animals to mastitis: environmental, genetic, nutritional, physical, ethological and human factors. It is rarely possible to attribute the occurrence of mastitis to a single cause. Milking hygiene and feed quality, even during the dry period, are important factors.
Somatic cell counts is a practical, albeit imperfect, way to detect mastitis. It has proven especially effective for observing the herd over the long term. On a daily basis, visual and physical examination of the udder remain as essential detection methods.
Additional factors linked to managing mastitis are: adequate and proper bedding, sufficient space for the animals and culling of chronic animals.
Clay poultice, homeopathic remedies, medicinal plants and oxygen therapy may be used as curative methods against mastitis. Mastitis of all types is a disease that must be taken seriously.
Q: Somatic Cell Count: how do we manage it effectively?
A: Clean milking habits are important to avoid the spreading of germs or their proliferation. The purpose of good hygiene is to prevent the transmission of germs from one teat to another on one cow or from one cow to another.
There is no need to get overly excited about germs... but why provoke them? Pasteur admitted at the end of his life that "the terrain is everything, the microbe is nothing", meaning that pathogenic microorganisms could not cause disease in a healthy animal or plant. Therefore, being vigilant about well-mineralized livestock and soils is very important. Although optimum health is always the ultimate goal, it is not always easy in to attain in herd management. Therefore, in the meantime, a little hygiene can't hurt! Contact a Rep from Bio-Ag for specific information.
Q: How come we have foot and leg problems?
A: Foot and leg problems come from a variety of different situations. Todays cow is on cement most of the time with no chance to walk on ground or earth. The feet are constantly exposed to manure and urine along with the alkaline cement which can cause abnormal wear or serious foot deterioration. The second problem is that of very poor quality feet in which a lot of the fermented feed does not have good volatile fatty acids present. Moldy feed plays a serious part in the foot and leg problems and many of these molds continue to get worse year after year do to excessive chemical use, drought and improper harvesting methods. The other main factor is that of poor fiber content in the ration. Many farmers only care about production and do not seem to realize that pushing the cow beyond her limits along with very poor and very cheap nutrition packages which do not address these stress factors, often result in foot problems that become so severe that the poor cow gets so sick that she is culled or she dies.
Q: I have a cow that just gave birth to a calf but she kept her afterbirth; what can I do about that?
A: One of the first things that the farmer needs to realize is that this problem started quite sometime before the cow ever calved. There are several areas that need to be addressed in these types of situations. The ration during the dry cow period needs to be very closely addressed. Calcium/Phosphorous ratios need to dramatically different from that of the milking cow. The dry cow needs much less Potassium then the milking cow. We also need to look at providing more trace minerals as well as chelates to the dry cow In the two months of her dry period she needs to finish almost 50% of the final growth of her calf. When this cow calves her Thyroid needs to be ready to kick into action to release enough Calcium to help the uterus to push out the calf as well as to expel the placenta.
Q: My ration from Bio-Ag says I should keep protein at 16% to the milk cows. Will this reduce their production?
A: We have many high production herds that are balanced at 16% protein. It is more important to view the total balance of the ration taking into consideration protein, energy and fibre. Thevika Sebastian PhD, our nutritionist, would be willing to discuss different options.
Q: What's wrong with feeding a 18% or 19% ration to the milk cows?
A: Lactating cows fed excessive protein tend to have more cases of acute mastitis. The cow assimilates protein by first breaking it down into urea and then building it into a more complete protein in the body. Therefore, excess protein causes excess urea and excess blood urea nitrogen.  This leaves cows open to bacterial and viral infections. In the dry cow, it can cause oedema, large calves, difficult calving and may contribute to mastitis at freshening.
What are these Aqua-Zyme Boosters?(Enzolac is a liquid inside this booster)
A: When your chicks arrive on your farm they have already been several hours without feed or water. At this point they can become very susceptible to infections. Aquazyme Boosters offer vital nutrients, hydration and healthy bacteria. It is recommended to offer the boosters to the chicks as soon as possible after hatching.
Aquazyme boosters:
(A) Will get some fluid in to the stomach or gizzard to stop dehydration
(B) Inoculate the gut with three main important immune stimulants:
#1 A collection of highly concentrated vitamins and minerals to nourish the system
#2, A combination of ionically-charged minerals to help to suppress and control any pathological bacteria
#3, Enzolac that provides both good bacterial to flood the gut as well as enzymes to help digestion and to bolster the immune system
How does water quality affect my animals? Water
A: Water quality is of utmost importance. Animals need fresh clean water as much as humans. Water removes the toxins in the animal’s body, replenishes the cells, delivers the nutrients and vitamins on a cellular level and flushes out disease. Animals are made predominately of water as we are. Water is their first food. They need a clean, fresh source of water at all times.
Q: What changes can I make to improve the water quality?
A: You can have your water tested for bacteria, an imbalance of minerals and its energy levels. After an analysis is completed, then you can make an educated decision on the best system to improve your water’s condition. Bio-Ag's Consultants can help you in this area.
Q:Would Hydrogen Peroxide help my water situation?
A: Yes, an excellent choice over chlorine (check out our water section for more information)
Of course, if you can't find the answers to your questions here, please feel free to call, fax, write or email us for further information.

At Bio-Ag the health and well being of livestock is our number one focus. In addition, we carry a line of products to ensure your livestock produce a top quality product.