Uniform mixing of feed ingredients in feedyard rations is critical for good performance. It prevents cattle from selectively eating some feed components and avoiding others. Modern batching and mixing equipment do a great job of delivering precisely balanced and blended feed.

Problems can arise, though, due to malfunctioning equipment, inadequate mixing time or over mixing. Recommendations for quality control in feed production from C. Reed Richardson, director of the Center for Feed Industry Research and Education at Texas Tech University, include guidelines for sampling bulk feed or mixed feed from the bunk for uniformity. The complete report, "Quality Control in Feed Production," can be found at www.asft.ttu.edu/cfire/reserc.htm