Farm Talk

Front page stories

June 25, 2013

Forage quality increases dairy production

Parsons, Kansas — Increasing animal health and milk production — both relate to forage quality, Tony Rickard MU Extension dairy specialist said during University of Missouri’s first Southwest Dairy Field Day.

“Forage quality is the single most important thing you can do,” he said while urging dairy producers not to cut corners to save money on feed rations.

Rations should be balanced based on nutrients, not feed costs. Cheaper feed stuff with unnecessary nutrients will not pay out to producers who should be after quality, not quanity.

“Money is going to be made with quality forage,” he stated. “It’s high, but the response you get is because of its value, not its cost.”

According to Rickard,  feeding cows undesirable nutrients to save money is like buying gasoline for a diesel truck.

“Tailor fuel to the needs of the machine or it’s not going to work for you,” he stated. “A least-cost ration program won’t feed your cows.”

Joe Horner Extension economist with the MU Commercial Agriculture Program agreed, telling producers to design their ration around forage.

“Half the milk in Missouri is coming from 17 counties in Southwest Missouri,” Horner said. “These guys used high forage quality.”

When building an economic plan, grazing and confinement producers need to focus on feed quality, labor efficency and replacements.

As the dairy industry adapts to rising feed prices, Horner advised all producers to run their dairy as sharp as they can and not to mix and match grazing or confinement methods.

“Play the game you’re playing to the nth degree,” he said. “Don’t mix and match models.”

Rickard also encouraged producers to stay consistent, advising not to switch feed rations and providers too often due to microbes in the cow’s rumen needing to adapt.

“Unless you’re going to save 5-10 cents a say, you better think twice before changing feed,” Rickard said.

For more questions about how you can optomize dairy production contact Rickard at rickardt@mis or Horner at hornerj@mis £

Text Only
Front page stories
  • beanhook_3954.jpg Walkin' Beans

    Herbicide-resistant weeds haunting soybean growers are forcing the resurgence of a retro-farming technique the experts refer to as “hand-roguing.”
    When I was a kid, it was simply called “walkin’ beans.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • FSFS_3753.jpg Big crowds, cool weather at Four State Farm Show

    The 40th annual Four State Farm Show welcomed over 20,000 visitors this past weekend in Pittsburg, Kan.

    July 22, 2014 6 Photos

  • ADSC_0124_2012.jpg Final preparations taking place for the 40th Four State Farm Show

    The Four State Farm Show is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and preparations are well underway.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0076.jpg Leadership

    A Girard FFA member returned from this year’s Kansas State FFA Convention as the organization’s new vice president.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • soybeans_emerg.jpg Record beans, less corn planted

    American farmers have planted less corn than in any year since 2010 but more soybeans than ever, as expected.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • BlaineLotz_2014WLACChamp.jpg Edna man is world champion auctioneer

    Blaine Lotz of Edna, Kan. proved his world-class auctioneering talent recently at the Livestock Marketing Association’s  World Livestock Auctioneer Championship in Knoxville, Ia.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • hereford.jpg North American cattle numbers tight

    Record high feeder cattle prices leave no doubt that U.S. feeder cattle supplies are extremely tight.  On January 1, estimated feeder supplies were down 2.7 percent over the previous year amid indications of heifer retention.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • wheat_0036.jpg Wheat yields, quality better than expected

    Wheat harvest is underway around the area and early reports are looking better than many producers had previously thought.

    June 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Kansas farmland prices remain stable in June

    Stable farm incomes, timely rain and international instability have helped keep Kansas farmland values relatively unchanged from a year ago, despite concerns from some economists that an agriculture bubble might be on the verge of deflating.

    June 24, 2014

  • osagecotour_3421.jpg Cattlemen tour Osage Hills ranches

    Miles of cattlemen in trucks snaked through the Osage Hills last weekend for the 80th annual Osage County Cattlemen’s Tour.

    June 17, 2014 2 Photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Seasonal Content