Help your clients stem losses from feed shrink

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Editor's note: This Practice Builder is from Doug DeGroff, dairy nutritionist from Tulare, Calif.

This past December, a central California dairy was billed for seven loads of feed that it never received.

Even more interesting, the seven loads came from five different suppliers.

The farm was doing the right things: It had scales to weigh in feed deliveries and was careful to match the feed bills with the delivery tags. In this case, there were no weight tickets or delivery tags for the seven missing loads. But the bills came nevertheless.

Since it happened at one of his client farms, nutritionist Doug DeGroff is more vigilant than ever about delivery problems. A lot of producers have scales, he says, but may not be taking the extra step to match the delivery tags against the billing statements.

It is one of the ways that “feed shrink” can occur, where feed gets lost or ruined between the time it is harvested and the time the cows are ready to eat it.

DeGroff helps his clients minimize the feed-shrink problem. And, one of the things he is adamant about is having a feed management software program that tracks what the feeders are doing.

“With the price of feed being where it is, there is no reason not to have a feed management program that is helping you to manage” the thousands if not millions of dollars of feed inventory, he says.

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