BoVantage/Optaflexx for Finishing Cattle

Randy Rosenboom, Field Specialist

After reviewing my presentation at the recent sales meeting with a few of my peers, I wanted to follow-up and emphasize the major points that will help sell BoVantage/Optaflexx (BVT/OPT).

First, the Optaflexx clearance relates to both performance and economics. If the producer feeds more days or fewer days than the approval, while not legal, the cattle will not explode or crash. After about 35 days, cattle start to become desensitized to the effects of ractopamine, so the response begins to diminish until it hits the baseline of the control cattle (no Optaflexx). YOU DO NOT LOSE THE RESPONSE YOU GAINED – YOU JUST DO NOT RECEIVE MORE. The advantage in performance simply goes to zero, so the longer you feed it, the less return ($$$) you capture on your investment.

Second, our “Optaflexx alone” trial summary shows a decent feed intake response. While this is good and does happen from time to time, the response in the comparison trial where we looked at the Optaflexx and BoVantage combination is more common (i.e. there was no feed intake response over the control). I have talked to many producers who have used Optaflexx alone and they all tell me that feed intake did NOT go up, and in some cases even went down.

We need to understand that we have two entirely different modes of action working here. Optaflexx is a re-partitioning agent, so it acts somewhat like an implant and shifts gain towards lean, but it is not a hormone. BoVantage always gives us 1 to 1.5-lb of DM intake, which all of my customers have observed in the feed yard. Typically, intake falls off as cattle reach market weight, but with the BoVantage/Optaflexx combination, we do not see this decline. The trial we ran at Muscatine showed a DM intake increase of 0.8 lb, but those cattle were marketed around the 4th of July and we were battling hot weather. As a matter of fact, that bump in intake has helped sell a lot of product for me because all yard managers fight to maintain intakes with cattle sold in the summer months.

So remember the old rule of thumb, 1 lb of DM intake is worth at least .25 lb of ADG. I believe the additional gain with BoVantage is in part due to some of the systemic and perhaps antioxidant effects we discussed at the sales meeting.

Be sure to point out to your cattle feeders that the extra DM intake creates the 7-10 lb of additional gain we pick up with BoVantage during the last month. Cattle feeders truly understand that higher feed intakes drive increased gains, which in turn drives more profit to their bottom line.

Be sure to get your sell sheets from Muscatine on this combination product because they WORK!