Source: South Dakota State University
In response to what is shaping up to be the worst drought since the Dirty 30s, SDSU Extension's iGrow program has created a free mobile app to for livestock producers to use when comparing the cost and nutritional value of livestock feed. The mobile app is available in the iTunes App Store and in Google Play.
"Even before the drought, livestock producers daily faced the difficult decision of figuring out which feed source was the best buy when it comes to providing protein and energy sources to their livestock. This dilemma is even greater as feedstuff prices continue to increase due to the current drought," said Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Cow/Calf Field Specialist.
To aid livestock producers in this chore, Rusche and Tracey Renelt, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist together developed a Feedstuff Cost Calculator smart phone app and spreadsheet. The app is the first in a suite of iGrow Smart Management Apps.
The spreadsheet and information about the app is available here. If you open the App Store on your Apple iOS device or Google Play on your Android device you can search 'Feedstuff Cost Calculator' to download the app.
"These tools let producers compare two feedstuffs on an equal basis," Renelt said. "In essence they allow producers to compare apples to apples via protein and energy, while taking trucking and purchase price into consideration."
In order to utilize the spreadsheet or phone app, producers will need basic input information for each feed source such as percent dry matter, crude protein and energy content on a dry matter basis, feed cost per pound or ton, and trucking cost. In return, livestock producers will be able to compare feedstuff A to feedstuff B on a dry matter basis and be able to determine which feedstuff is a better buy, if they are looking for a protein or energy source.
"The feed market is exceptionally volatile this year. We hope that this tool will be useful to producers as they evaluate their feed options during this drought," Rusche said.
For more information, contact either Rusche or Renelt at the SDSU Regional Extension Center in Watertown at 605-882-5140 or email at Warren.Rusche@sdstate.edu or Tracey.Renelt@sdstate.edu.