Feeding the Cow Herd: Options When Hay is Short

Following are some new and updated additions to the resources from UW Extension to help cow calf producers make management decisions for over-wintering the cow herd.

An earlier post here provided some resources on coping with sort feed supplies: Click here if you missed it: Winter Feeding Considerations for 2013

Options for Feeding the Cow Herd When Hay Supplies are Short-2013 version (pdf) is a fact sheet that has been updated with current pricing scenarios and addresses the following options: limit feeding hay, limit feeding corn silage, and substituting corn for a portion of the hay in the ration.

Substituting Corn for Hay Economic Comparison Spreadsheet (excel) This spreadsheet builds helps cow-calf producers evaluate the economics of substituting corn for some of the hay in the ration. It includes a calculator for determining breakeven hay prices for when corn substitution should be considered, and provides an example producers can enter their own numbers to get some estimates on how much money might be saved with substitution.  Producers will still need to have balanced rations formulated and do further comparisons, but the spreadsheet can provide a good starting point to evaluate substitution as a potential option.

Alternative Energy Sources of Over-wintering Cows (pdf) This fact sheet provides additional information on using distillers grains and limit feeding corn and hay for overwintering beef cows.

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