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Cheaper Corn Prices Offer Options For Cow-Calf Producers

  Early 2014 provides different price dynamics for supplements.

Cow-calf producers looking to add a protein supplement to rations may be choosing corn this year, says the Michigan State University (MSU) Extension, likely because corn prices are falling.

Pregnant cows require a steadily increasing protein intake, topping out near 10.3% crude protein in early lactation, hence the need for supplementation. Many forages, MSU Extension says, generally offer enough protein, but crop residues and poor quality hays will not.

That's why distiller’s grain (DG), a common choice among producers during the past five years or so, is still an option for boosting protein – but corn is gaining more traction. MSU Extension says even though DGs have in the past followed corn prices, 2014 is likely to be very different.

DG prices the week of Dec. 15, 2013, at 19 markets across the Midwest averaged 142% of corn and were nearly 50% of the cost of soybean meal, MSU reports.

To read the complete article about protein supplements, click here.


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