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Virginia Cooperative Extension - Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Are You Managing Your Feeding Program?

Dairy Pipeline: November 2008

Bob James, Extension Dairy Scientist, Dairy Nutrition
(540) 231-4770,

This year has been a wild ride for the dairy business — any business for that matter! During the past year we have experienced milk prices exceeding $25/cwt, corn over $8/bushel, soybeans above $13, diesel fuel over $4/gallon and the list goes on. There’s a saying: “When you are up to your neck in alligators it’s difficult to remember that your original intention was to drain the swamp!” This certainly applies to what we have faced recently. Now, in mid-October, corn has dropped below $4/bushel and gas is below $3.00 gallon. All too often we accept the hand we are dealt when there’s substantial opportunity to stack the cards in our favor with a little extra effort. When feed costs are >$6/cow/day there are great opportunities to save money and increase income. Here are some fundamental principles to use in managing your feeding program:

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