Winter feeding costs are a major expense in cow-calf herds. So, selecting a winter feeding program that is cost-efficient is imperative. However, making sure nutrient requirements are met during this time is critical to future profitability. An investment now can pay dividends for years to come.
One of the most difficult feeding challenges faced by dairy farmers is the dropoff in feed intake and milk production during the summer. To minimize these losses, rations must be specially formulated for hot weather.
Meeting the most basic nutrient requirements needed for survival should be the goal when feeding cattle following a disaster. Feeding basics, feeding water-damaged hay or feed and salvaging flood-damaged hay and feeds included.
Ration quality and the level of feed consumed both play important roles in maximizing dairy farm profitability. Feedstuff analysis allows better appreciation of real cost and should be considered in ration formulation. Feed efficiency should be calculated and monitored to identify the most profitable cows of the herd and to evaluate the nutritional programs more closely and accurately.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture