HAY TESTING TO REDUCE WINTER FEED COSTS
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
Winter feed costs are the largest expense for cow/calf producers. One way to reduce these costs is to have hays analyzed for nutrient content, and develop a least cost, supplemental feeding program based on hay quality. Bermudagrass hays in Arkansas average 13% protein, but can range from 6% to 22%. This variability can lead to under or over feeding nutrients causing poor growth rates or unnecessary expenses. The Montgomery County Hay Show and Winter Feed Program was started to help producers develop least cost supplemental feeding programs. Producers were allowed to test up to five lots of hay for $20 ($90 value) and then educated on how to manage a feeding program based on their hay test results. Individual ration formulation was also available to producers. Hays were judged for quality and ranked with a color coded system based on its ability to meet a cow’s nutritional requirement. This system allowed producers to visually appraise each hay, while educating them about its nutrient content. Following this program, participants indicated an increase in knowledge of beef cattle nutritional requirements, matching supplements to hay quality, and understanding a feed analysis report by 27%, 30%, and 39%, respectively. In addition, 15 participants indicated they would start using hay tests on a regular basis and would start selecting a supplement based on hay quality. A follow up evaluation show participants saved $9682 in winter feed costs as result of the hay testing program.
Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC
This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.
A poster file has not been provided
Authors: B.C. Mcginley, P.A. Beck, M.S. Gadberry
Mcginley, B. CEA-Ag, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Arkansas, 71957
Beck, P. Associate Professor, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Arkansas, 71801
Gadberry, M. Associate Professor, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Arkansas, 72204