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 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Soybean meal prices have increased

Dairy Pipeline: June 1997

by Charles C. Stallings
Extension Dairy Scientist, Nutrition
Virginia Tech

Soybean meal prices have increased. The cost of protein is greater with recent increases in soybean meal prices. Soybean meal is costing $340 for 48% protein in some areas of the state. That is $.35 per lb. of protein (2000 lbs. * .48 = 960 lbs. of protein; $340/960 = $.35). That is equal to $308 per ton for 44% soybean meal. One of the alternatives might be cottonseed meal which contains 41% protein (44% protein on dry basis). At $.35 per lb. of protein the protein in a ton of cottonseed meal is worth $287. There is less energy in cottonseed meal (.80 vs. .85 Mcal/lb.) than soybean meal and this is not considered in these calculations. However, if cottonseed meal can be obtained for $275 per ton or less it seems to be cost competitive. Recent price quotes indicated cottonseed meal was less than this. There are other cotton products that are available but will contain less protein than cottonseed meal. These are whole cottonseeds (21% protein, dry basis) and cottonseed cake which is meal plus hulls and lint (31%). Other protein sources might be peanut meal (52%), roasted soybeans (42%), distillers grains (28%), and brewers grains (25-30%). If replacing some of the soybean meal compare based on cost per lb. of protein.

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