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Maximize milk checks with more forage

The futures market is shining a more promising light on milk prices for the second half of the year. Even with record high milk prices expected, though, the risk of weaker export sales, changes in domestic demand, and lower total milk production could interfere with those numbers moving forward.

No matter what milk prices are or predicted to be, maximizing income over feed costs on a dairy farm should be a top priority. However, when income is limited in this equation, there is more pressure to reduce feed costs and other on-farm expenses.

One of the most marvelous traits of dairy cattle is their ability to utilize fibrous forage for milk and meat production. It’s a trait that Thomas Kilcer states must be leveraged to achieve higher profit margins and better milk production in a recent issue of Crop Soil News.

The owner of Advanced Ag Systems, an agronomy consulting business based in Tennessee, suggests that raising forage inclusion rates in dairy rations is one solution to offset low milk prices and high commodity feed costs. The best way to make room in the diet for more forage is to ensure it has high quality — specifically high neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFD).

May 7, 2024

By Amber Friedrichsen



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