Feed Inventories Can Increase Your Bottom Line

Planting and harvesting has been a challenge to say the least the last couple years. Feed inventories become, in my mind, some of the most important buffers to protecting yourself from less than ideal cropping seasons and volatile prices. High corn silage diets offer extreme consistency as well as an affordable feed source that can really add to your bottom line. Large inventories of corn silage will also stabilize growth and milk production throughout the year. Many producers are forced to green chop corn silage in early fall. This unfermented feed is hard on a cattle’s “bug” population in the gut. It can take 5 weeks for the “bugs” to adjust to a new feed or forage and even after the bug populations adjust the unfermented feed is not as digestible. This can lead to production loss. Drops in milk production of 5-10+lbs a cow are common during this transition time. Often you will see production not return for 4 months until were back into fully fermented feed. 50 cows, loosing 8lbs of milk, for 3 months, is equal too $4500 using a $20/cwt pay price. This is just part of your loss. Peak milk loss, fresh cow issues, etc add substantially to this loss. I like to see a minimum, 3 months of corn silage inventory at the time of chopping. While planning for the upcoming planting season think about gearing your rotation towards higher inventory’s to increase profit in 2020.