Alternative Feeds for Beef Cows and Stockers
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Harvested and purchased feeds make up nearly 40 percent of annual production costs in typical cow/calf operations. These costs also have a dramatic impact on cost per unit of gain in stocker operations. Consequently, cattle producers must continually evaluate new methods to make efficient use of available resources while optimizing animal performance and minimizing supplementation costs. Often, when cattle graze marginal to low quality forages, supplemental protein or energy is required to enhance either forage use or animal performance. Depending on the cost of more traditional feedstuffs, alternative feeds often provide an opportunity to reduce the cost of supplementation while maintaining or improving animal performance. This guide provides cow/calf and stocker operators with information on nutrition and other considerations for the use of several alternative feeds available in the Midwest.
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