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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Feeding for 2013: Mike Hutjens Weighs In

Mike Hutjens
University of IL
With 2013 fast-approaching, Mike Hutjens recommends that all dairy managers take the time to inventory their forage, evaluate their feed costs, and research feed prices. Now is the time to develop effective strategies for next year’s feeding.

After taking a dry matter inventory, decide whether you will need to purchase forage or forage extender feeds. Now is also the time to determine whether you will cull “problem” cows and/or reduce the number of heifers being raised using genomics.

Income over feed cost, feed efficiency, feed cost per pound of dry matter, and feed cost per 100 lbs. of milk are feed-related values that may be useful for monitoring/evaluating the economics of your feeding program. 

Feed ingredient prices will vary depending on where you live, and by-product feeds may offer viable options. To compare feed prices, consider using these helpful programs: FeedVal 2012 from the University of Wisconsin and Sesame from The Ohio State University.

Source: Mike Hutjens, “Three feeding ‘musts’ for 2013,” Dairy Today, November 2012: 20.

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