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.
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.