The continued drought, and limited hay supplies will make feeding the cow herd through the fall and winter a challenge. Producers that can hold on to their herds will be rewarded with high calf prices. The cow herd will need to be maintained with economical feedstuffs for the next 6-8 months.
Commodity feeds such as corn gluten feed or soy hulls can offer economical options for cow-calf producers. These products are excellent cattle feed, but vary greatly in price and nutrients. Because of this tremendous variability in several factors it is often difficult to compare different commodity feeds producers need to be careful to compare feeds on an equal basis. The value of these feeds need to be on:
1. Amount of dry matter
2. Cost per pounds of nutrients
3. Animal intake factors
4. Handling and storage considerations
The first step is to obtain a nutrient analysis of the commodity from the supplier. This should include dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP) and total digestible nutrients (TDN).