- 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.