Cost per Cow

9/23/2021

Looking at cost per cow when feeding allows producers to evaluate and assess value and impact for their herd.

Too often, inferior products are disguised with a lower cost per ton as the incentive to buy them. This is deceptive as producers find out that more pounds fed are needed to meet the same objective. Commodities don’t provide the nutrient value that a denser, yet higher priced product delivers.

Other times, nutritionists are afraid to use high quality, highly digestible home-grown forage without ‘watering it down’ by feeding less of it with something the cow cannot use.

Producers cannot afford to feed anything that doesn’t have a benefit to feed efficiency. The days of inefficiencies, pass through, and driving intakes no longer make financial sense.

“The Penn State calculator clearly indicates that ‘production at any cost’ does not pencil out well,” per the Dairy Herd Management’s Feed Cost Per Cow Per Day: Today’s Critical Metric blog. Moreover Virginia Ishler, Penn State Dairy Extension specialist, shares “…even using cost numbers for home-raised forages, most operations exceed $5.50/milk cow/day during periods of ‘normal’ feed costs.”

Understanding the importance of cost per cow, Microbiology Nutrition is a nutrient dense approach to feeding cows, ensuring the cow gets the most of what she needs in every bite of the ration.

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