More by-product feeds are going to come into the nutrition picture, says Virginia Ishler, nutrient management specialist with the Penn State Extension Dairy Team and manager of the Penn State Dairy Research Complex. This means more variability and sometimes questionable quality, which may result in paying a lot for inferior-quality feeds, she warns. Quality control and testing of by-products are critical.

Scrutinize by-products“People are asking for blanket recommendations on feeding this year’s corn silage, but it really depends on what else the farm has to feed, the feed company they are working with, and the feed options available to them,” explains Ishler. “The bottom line is having a cashflow plan for your dairy that addresses income-over-feed-cost and includes a feed and crops inventory.”