With milk prices still strong, the last thing you want to do is give up production by cutting back on feed, says Mike Hutjens, a University of Illinois Extension dairy nutritionist. Hutjens' comments are featured on AgDay TV today.
If you're out of corn and don't want to pay the hefty price at the local elevator, Hutjens suggests looking for alternatives. Corn gluten feed, when rations are balanced for starch, is a good alternative. So is corn silage, which can run 30% to 34% starch in Illinois.
Dried distillers grain (DDG) currently has a feed-equivalent breakeven of $300/ton. With actual prices running $200/ton or less, DDGs should be fed at 5-6 lb/cow/day, says Hutjens. And with added minerals, DDGs can fed (on a dry matter basis) of 1/3 DDGs to 2/3 corn stalks or straw to heifers or dry cows.