Keep Purchased Feed Costs In Perspective

Keep Purchased Fede Costs In Perspective

Feeding cows is very similar to conducting a financial assessment in respect to “What is the return on investment?”  For the cow it comes down to what is the return on milk volume and pounds of fat and protein for the price of feed fed. The approach taken by producers during difficult times is to make decisions based on the unit price of a particular feed. Usually this is coupled with not giving thought on what the feed contributes to the ration, how the animal responds, and the long term implications of replacing an “expensive” feed ingredient with a cheaper substitute. This strategy has led many nutritionists to avoid the least cost ration scenario and focus on the best cost ration because optimum performance is rarely achieved on the least cost approach.

There are two common scenarios observed on dairy operations. The first is where every ingredient and additive sold is incorporated into the ration. The other scenario is as soon as the milk price goes south critical ingredients are getting pulled out of the diet many times to the determent to production. The best approach still comes down to the total package and the combination of ingredients and how cows respond. Knowing a farm’s cost of production and evaluating milk income and expenses is the only way to know what is happening on the farm and what changes should be made. Be sure to discuss with your Nobis Agri Nutritionist on the best cost ration for your herd.

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Tags: Feed Costs