Make value not price per tonne the focus to maximise MOPF

Dairy and beef producers are being urged to focus greatest attention on feed value, not cost per tonne, as pressure to reduce overall feed costs and increase margin over purchased feed (MOPF) continues.

“Choosing the cheapest feeds without any regard to quality is rarely the most profitable option, and will typically reduce milk output and income to a greater extent than any saving in feed costs,” states KW nutritionist Dr Anna Sutcliffe.

For example, the starch in processed bread at around 20p/kg could cost up to 15% less than in wheat, plus has a higher energy density (14.0MJ ME/kg DM versus 13.6MJ ME/kg DM) and more protein (14% CP versus 12% CP).

“The best value feeds tend to be those that are nutrient dense, which has the added advantage of requiring a lower DMI for a given nutrient supply,” Dr Sutcliffe adds.

“Feeding 3kg DM (6kg FW) of Traffordgold might cost 5-10p/cow more than the equivalent volume of brewers’ grains (12.5 kg FW), but will supply an extra 5MJ ME for the same dry matter intake. That extra energy could boost daily milk yields by 1 litre/cow or reduce finishing times by 10 days, and will provide a worthwhile boost in MOPF.”

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