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Dairy Today Expo Extra

RSS By: Catherine Merlo, Dairy Today

Dairy Today's Catherine Merlo brings you the latest from the World Dairy Expo.

Help with Managing Feed Costs Is Here

Oct 03, 2011

The dairy industry’s businesses are at World Dairy Expo this week, eager to help lessen your dairy’s feed-cost load.

In California and Minnesota, dairy producers are shelling out more than $300 a ton for corn. Pennsylvania dairies are paying $420 a ton for cottonseed. In Washington State, alfalfa hay for milk cows costs $320 a ton, DDGs $270 a ton, and soymeal $430 a ton.
For more than three years, feed costs have been skyrocketing on dairies and, most recently, taking the bloom off of these record milk prices. You would think something could be done to alleviate feed costs’ relentless climb.
In fact, companies large and small have jumped on the bandwagon to find ways to help dairies lessen that load. Like you, they can’t do much to cut the price of corn. But they have been working hard to develop products and services to help you with your feed burden. And hundreds of those companies are here this week at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis., eager to share those developments with you.
For example:
·         Valley Agricultural Software’s feed management software, known as FeedWatch, allows you to monitor your herd’s intake, analyze consumption, track ingredients and ration chemistries, reduce feed waste and more. The software works with mixer trucks and wagons or with stationary mixers and delivery trucks. The VAS booth at World Dairy Expo this week is located at EH 4331.
·         In addition to its business of developing and manufacturing liquid feed supplements for animals, Quality Liquid Feeds (at Expo at EH 4330) is funding three sessions this week at World Dairy Expo. The company will sponsor today’s Virtual Farm Tour focusing on Minnesota’s Simon Dairy, its 707 milking cows and its generation-to-generation transition. QLF is also behind Thursday’s Virtual Farm Tour featuring Pennsylvania’s Meadow Vista Dairy and its focus on producing quality forages and implementing best management practices for crop production. With QLF’s support, Dr. Michael Hutjens of the University of Illinois will discuss "Feeding Strategies with Today’s Milk and Feed Prices" at 9 a.m. on both Thursday and Friday.
·         Harvestore’s FeedScan™ Precision Feeding System measures and adjusts dry matter on the spot to help you reach the target set by your nutritionist. It also tests every bucket of feed to the consistency of your TMR.  By measuring forages, grain and other dry-matter nutrients, you can lower the expensive ingredients in your TMR, says Dick Nelles, Ag National Marketing Manager at Engineered Storage Products Company. "FeedScan brings the real-time accuracy of near-infrared technology to the farm versus an off-site laboratory where results may take days," he adds. Harvestore has a large display this week at EH 1201-1304.
·         BASF’s NutriDense® Silage is nutritionally enhanced corn silage developed specifically for efficient milk production. In university studies, cows fed NutriDense Silage have demonstrated a 4% to 8% improvement in feed efficiency, which can result in significant income over feed cost advantages and improved profitability for dairy producers. To learn more, visit its booth at World Dairy Expo in Arena 450.
·        Rice Dairy, Stewart-Peterson, Dairy Gross Margin and First Capitol Risk Management all offer ways to protect your margins with risk management programs that manage income over feed costs. Even multi-faceted Cargill has a risk strategy program called Cargill Direct to help you mitigate your market risk exposure and protect your operating margins.
Plenty of help is out there. At Dairy Today, we’ll do our best to bring it to you -– not only this week but all year long.
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