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6 Ways to Boost Performance and Lower Feed Costs


Feed costs will continue to be the No. 1 expense. Jim Salfer, Extension dairy educator with the University of Minnesota, offers some best practices to help producers lower feed costs. These recommendations can be implemented with minimal effects on performance in most herds.


Minimize Waste and Shrink — In one year, a 100-cow dairy can save $58,400 by reducing the shrink from high shrink to low shrink. Often, dairies have a shrinkage of 30% on forages with bunkers and piles, with 10% shrinkage on concentrates in commodity sheds. “This is the biggest and an easy way to reduce feed costs,” he says, stating that for forage stored in bunkers or piles, this is an insidious cost because you don’t write a check for it.


1. Maximize Homegrown Feeds —If you raise most of your own feeds, work with your nutritionist to maximize the value, he says. “If you are feeding purchased dry hay, consider reducing the amount and increasing the corn silage in the diet if adequate inventory is available. Even with a higher purchased protein cost, the total diet cost likely will be lower,” Salfer explains.


By KAREN BOHNERT

June 14, 2023

dairyherd.com

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