Which Feed Is A Better Value? Here’s a Calculator to Help Figure it Out.

From October of 2016, here's a timely article to help you get the most for your money. There are a variety of reasons why you might decide to feed or supplement grazing cattle in the fall and winter. One might be providing a little extra for a pasture that doesn't meet your herd's nutritional needs. Another reason is you might have hit a drought and winter feed is in short supply. Or maybe that's just how you do things. Whatever the reason, you'll naturally look for the best feed you can find for the lowest price. The problem is that different feeds have different dry matter, crude protein and total digestible nutrients (TDN). So when comparing several options, knowing the price per ton of TDN or Crude Protein will help you compare apples to apples. As an example, let's say you have a choice between low-quality hay that is 88% dry matter (DM) and is 6% crude protein (CP) of the dry matter (as-fed dry matter). That costs $56 per ton. There's also alfalfa/grass hay at 88% dry matter and 16% crude protein for $180 a ton.  Here's what the math looks like for comparing the cost per pound:   If the value of the hay is provided in Total Digestible Nutrients, you would replace the Crude Protein percentage with the TDN percentage. The math isn't hard, and if you remember the formula, it's something you can do on the back of an envelope while you're out looking at feed. Or, if you're in front of your computer and just want to be able to plug in numbers, I made

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