Supplementation May Be Necessary

The harvest is progressing rapidly and some cows are moving to corn stalk pastures in the area.

The harvest is progressing rapidly and some cows are moving to cornstalk pastures in the area.

Over the past few years, the cost of running a cow has really increased. It used to be a “rule of thumb” that we could run a cow for about $1/day, or $350-$400/year. As pasture rent and hay prices rose, many producers are seeing costs of over $600/cow/year. Thankfully calf prices are high enough this year to compensate for these additional costs, but the more costs decrease, the more profit is retained in your operation.

This summer we had more rain than I can remember. It made it almost impossible to put up good-quality hay. The only good thing about it was that in a few short weeks you got another chance to try, but this attempt was usually rained on, too. Most of the hay we have seen tested is lower in protein and feed value. Feeding this hay alone will require extra feed and supplement to balance these rations and get enough energy in these cows.

As we see the increase in the ethanol industry, we have many more byproducts available for supplementation. In the past several years researchers have experimented with co-products and different forage types.

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