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  • Jin Gan

Water In Feedstuffs

Water In Feedstuffs

Cows like to eat high-moisture feeds. However, how much do they cost? Are they better compared to other alternatives?

Evaluate cost of high-moisture feeds:

  • Evaluate the feed cost on adjusted dry matter basis - usually 90% dry matter (DM)

  • Take wet brewers grains at 22.5% DM for $30/Ton, would that be a good buy?

  • Comparative cost (on 90% DM basis): 90%DM divide by 22.5%DM will have a 4-to-1 ratio, multiplied by $30/Ton gives a total of $120/Ton of 90% DM.

"Watermelon Syndrome":

  • Cost is not the only consideration for high-moisture feeds.

  • Take a cow eating 90 pounds of feed. If you replace 10 pounds of alfalfa hay with a 4-to-1 alfalfa green chop (40 pounds green chop), the as-fed total feed intake would increase to 120 pounds per cow per day.

  • 120 pounds of feed per cow per day is too much. In this case, it is not advisable to go for alfalfa green chop.

Other notes on moisture of feeds:

  • It is not encouraged to feed the cow rations with less than 50% DM.

  • Find a ration that has a balanced moisture level.

  • Ration moisture helps feeds to mix together and it helps to limit sorting of feedstuffs.

  • Real cost of feed depends on the moisture level, hence it is vital to check the moisture level of the feed and calculate the cost of feed based on 90% DM.

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