NDF=neutral detergent fiber
Action plan for sampling forages
Goal – Develop a schedule for analyzing forages throughout the year.
Step 1: Wait 5 days after opening a new structure to send forages for analyses.
Step 2: Sample corn silage in the fall and spring. Include fiber and starch digestibility.
Step 3. Sample hay crop forages when feeding a new cutting of alfalfa or grass.
Monitoring must include an economic component to determine if a management strategy is working or not. For the lactating cows income over feed costs is a good way to check that feed costs are in line for the level of milk production. Starting with July’s milk price, income over feed costs was calculated using average intake and production for the last six years from the Penn State dairy herd. The ration contained 63% forage consisting of corn silage, haylage and hay. The concentrate portion included corn grain, candy meal, sugar, canola meal, roasted soybeans, Optigen® and a mineral vitamin mix. All market prices were used.
Also included are the feed costs for dry cows, springing heifers, pregnant heifers and growing heifers. The rations reflect what has been fed to these animal groups at the Penn State dairy herd for the past 6 years. All market prices were used.
Standardized IOFC starting July 2014
Note: May’s Penn State milk price: $17.51/cwt; feed cost/cow: $6.55; average milk production: 84 lbs.
Standardized feed cost/non-lactating animal/day starting July 2014