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A more sustainable beef supply

In our daily lives, we’re all more aware of conserving natural resources, whether it’s a more fuel-efficient car, appliances that use less water or a programmable thermostat setting. Farmers think the same way, which is why they are always looking for new solutions.

We support farmers in their ongoing commitment to find better ways to provide more quality, lean beef that’s safe, affordable and raised in an environmentally responsible manner. One product that can help farmers do that is Zilmax. Zilmax is an FDA-approved feed supplement that improves cattle’s natural ability to convert feed into more quality, lean beef.1,4,5 It can play a central role in helping farmers raise a more sustainable beef supply.

More beef supply from fewer cattle

By using Zilmax, farmers can raise more beef from fewer cattle.1,9 Simply put, the feed supplement helps cattle make the most of what they eat. That means less waste and more pounds of beef. That’s particularly important as the global population increases and the demand for beef continues to grow. Add to that dry weather conditions, such as the droughts of 2012 and 2013 in key beef‑raising regions, and it becomes difficult for farmers to meet demand. According to USDA, the number of cattle in the U.S. in January 2014 was at its lowest point since 1951.28 More importantly, the number of cows and young female cows able to bear calves was the smallest number since 1941.28 The use of Zilmax, especially in times of tight beef supplies, can help increase beef supplies by improving cattle’s natural ability to create more quality, lean beef while using fewer natural resources.1,8

Keeping beef prices in check

With nearly one in five U.S. families struggling to put food on the table, we need an adequate beef supply to help keep beef affordable. Based on recent data, when Zilmax was not used, the supply of boneless beef in the U.S. was reduced by 105 semi-loads per week. That’s equivalent to the amount of beef 4.3 million Americans buy in one week.6 Cattle fed Zilmax help create a greater supply of beef,1 and that helps keep beef prices in check for all of us.7

Conserving natural resources

Zilmax is a recognized feed supplement for helping farmers raise beef in a sustainable manner. The ability to raise more beef with fewer cattle1,9 also means less waste, and less use of land, water and energy.9 The reductions in the amount of water and feed consumed by U.S. cattle while being fed Zilmax are significant. In a typical year, U.S. farmers raise approximately 24 million cattle for the beef supply. If just one-third of those cattle are fed the supplement, we could significantly conserve natural resources, including:
  • 858 million fewer gallons of water, enough water to meet the annual consumption needs for the populations of Chicago and Boston combined
  • About 117 square miles in the amount of land needed to grow corn, an area larger than the city of Las Vegas
  • 1,150,000 tons of feed6

While realizing these environmental benefits, the amount of beef raised would increase by 240 million pounds, which is enough to provide for the weekly needs of 4.3 million consumers in the U.S.6

At Merck Animal Health, discovering new solutions that help farmers raise beef responsibly is part of our mission. We’re committed to use science to find ways to continually improve the health, well-being and natural growth potential of animals raised in a sustainable fashion.

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Answers About Zilmax®

Zilmax has a withdrawal period 3 days prior to slaughter. Not for use in animals intended for breeding. Do not allow horses or other equines access to feed containing zilpaterol. Do not use in veal calves. Not to be fed to cattle in excess of 90 mg zilpaterol/head/day in complete feed. If pen consumption of complete feed exceeds 26.5 lb/head/day (90% dry matter basis), zilpaterol should not be fed in complete feed.

For complete safety information, please refer to the product label.