Purchasing feeds for a cow/calf producer is like doing taxes. Typically once a year producers start pricing feeds trying to figure out what is the best deal and what they should buy.Being able to determine the cost of unit per ingredient on a dry matter basis will help put all the feeds on the same playing field for the nutrient you are purchasing the feed for.

To determine the cost of a nutrient on a dry matter basis you can use the equation: (Cost/ton as fed ÷ % Dry Matter(DM) of ingredient) ÷ Nutrient value of product= Price per ton of nutrient on a Dry Matter Basis

Use the tool below to compare the energy value of modified distillers and corn to see which product would be the better buy. In the sample data that has been provided, modied distillers is Feed 1 and corn ($6.00/bushel) is Feed 2. You can enter data in the blue cells to run your own calculations.

Getting the biggest bang for your buck

Additional things to consider when determining the type of feeds you may need: Do you need a feed that may have more moisture in it or could you get by with a dry feed because you have corn silage? Are you trying to extend some other feedstuffs and need additional protein? Finally taking a look at your current feed inventory and matching feeds to compliment what you have is additionally important as comparing feeds on a nutrient basis.