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Make the most out of each feed dollar

 
 
When it comes to maximizing income over ration cost, it is essential to determine where your dollar should be spent and where it will receive the best return. Jim Linn, retired Extension nutrition specialist at the University of MN-St. Paul, suggests using the following as feed dollar allocation guidelines:
 

  • Forages: Comprise 40-45% of total ration cost and 50% of total ration dry matter.
  • Starch: Comprise 20% of total ration cost.
  • Byproduct feeds: Less than 20% substituting for other ration costs (grain, protein or forage).
  • Rumen-undegradable protein (RUP): Important for good milk production and should comprise about 15-20% of total ration cost.
  • Degradable protein: Important for good digestion and utilization of forage and grain. Should comprise 5-10% of total ration cost.
  • Minerals and vitamins: Comprise 4-8% of total ration cost.
  • Fat supplements: Can be used as substitute for other energy sources or to supplement low-energy feeds. Comprise 4-7% of total ration cost.
  • Feed additives: Supplements that help improve milk production, herd health, and feed utilization. Comprise 2-6% of total ration cost and often return more that their investment.

Source: Jim Linn. “Make good feed choices.” Dairy Today. October 2012: 35.

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