Concentrates are always a high proportion of the cost of a feed ration due to their contribution as primary energy and protein sources in dairy feeds. Dairy producers can use alternative feeds to: 1) reduce cost of the ration, and 2) replace some of the corn and soybean meal. A simple formula for determining feed value is presented here based on the market value of corn meal and soybean meal. To determine the value of an alternative feedstuff, you need to know the following: the cost/ton of DM, the CP content, and the TDN content of corn, soybean meal, and the alternate feed.
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Based on this information barley would be a good buy. For barley not to be a good buy it would have to be priced above $241.65/ton. The current price is $229, so barley can enter a ration, resulting in a cost savings for the producer, and replace some of the corn and soybean meal.