Limited inventories of homegrown forages and higher prices for both hay and grain have created a double whammy for dairy producers. Lee Kilmer, Iowa State University Extension dairy specialist, provides these tips for dealing with the myriad of challenges left behind by the drought of 2012.

  • Take a feed inventory.
  • Feed less. “This can be accomplished by changing your traditional ration to include less forage or concentrate, depending on your situation, or by reducing the number of cows or replacement heifers that you feed,” Kilmer says.
  • Reduce animal numbers.
  • Limit feed heifers.
  • Determine a “good” feed buy. “Determining a ‘good’ feed buy means identifying feedstuffs that provide the needed or required nutrients at the most economical price,” Kilmer says.
  • Avoid common mistakes. To learn more about temptations to avoid when assessing ways to reduce the feed bill, read Tools for Coping in 2013.

 Source: Iowa State University Extension and Outreach