How can you reduce feed costs by about 30 cents per hundredweight for a 100-cow herd averaging 70 pounds of milk? The answer, says Bill Weiss, dairy nutritionist at Ohio State University, is to calve heifers at 24 months rather than 27 months. Herd structure, especially the number of replacements and dry cows, has a substantial effect on feed costs. Reducing the number of heifers on the farm by calving at the correct age and keeping culling rate reasonable reduces the number of “nonproductive” animals that you have to feed.