A critical component in maximizing the profitability of any beef feeding program is being able to identify feeds that provide the required nutrients at a good price. BioZyme® Inc., experts in all-natural livestock nutrition, has created a free online tool for cattle producers that estimates feed values based on feedstuff nutrient content and current market prices.
BioZyme's Feed Barometer utilizes a software program designed by Dr. Normand St-Pierre and his colleagues at Ohio State University to evaluate multiple feed ingredients for a selected group of nutrients. For its Feed Barometer, BioZyme has selected Crude Protein (CP), Net Energy for Gain (NEg) and Effective Fiber (eNDF) as the most important nutrients driving the feed ingredient value for beef cattle. The software program uses multiple ingredients in its appraisal set to reflect current market conditions, therefore avoiding the risk of basing evaluations on just a few ingredients.
Producers can then select a region within the United States to view region-specific Feed Barometers for:
· Forage/Fiber Sources (cotton seed hulls, alfalfa hay, alfalfa silage, corn silage, corn stover, grass hay, sorghum silage, soybean hulls and wheat silage)
· Energy Feeds (bakery byproduct meal, brewers grains, corn, corn grain, wheat midds, hominy and molasses)
· Protein Feeds (cotton seed, corn gluten, sweet bran, distillers grains, soybean meal, expeller soybean meal, canola meal and corn gluten feed wet)
The system shows the reported price and nutritional value for each nutrient in that region, then calculates through a sliding graph whether the feed is considered "over-priced," "neutral" or a "good buy". The prices represent wholesale commodity prices, and generally do not include freight or added value from a feed manufacturer.
"The Feed Barometer is a reliable, robust assessment of the current value of feed ingredients. And while it is a valuable tool, it should not be the only resource producers use when formulating a balanced diet for their beef cattle," said BioZyme Vice President Lisa Norton. "BioZyme maintains a staff of nutritionists who work with producers to determine the nutritional content of their forages and help them develop cost-effective feeding programs."
Additionally, BioZyme provides a Feed Market Synopsis each month on its Feed Barometer page, as well as online links to the following valuable resources: federal cattle markets, feeder cattle markets, cattle futures, regional feed market info. and weather reports.
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