As the nights are drawn in and the temperature has finally decided to drop, livestock is housed more and more. The question is being asked on a regular basis, “what should I feed then?” to which my answer is repeatedly “quality not quantity!”
The raw material trade has seen some significant up turns in the last 8 months, with the pound falling and the lack of commitment to purchase raw materials all having an effect. Prices of concentrate feeds has gone up off the back of this and in response to this people are thinking about cutting costs.
I would encourage every customer not to get fixated on the up-front cost, but to look deeper into your feed choice with your rep and discuss what is going to get you the best results, without compromising your cash flow.
Feeding half as much feed to get the same or better results is far more economic and efficient than feeding twice as much of a cheaper option. This is very pertinent when looking at feeding an in-lamb ewe in the last 4-6weeks of pregnancy, for example. As the room in the rumen shrinks due to the size of the growing lambs space for food becomes a premium and so feeding a high nutrient density compound fits very well. To take this a step further feeding a high quality compound, but to a smaller amount becomes very economic and efficient.
As an example of a quality raw material that has more to offer than just it seem at first glance, is Soya Bean meal or Hipro Soya. Soya is not a cheap ingredient but for very good reason, not only is it 55% protein, it also has and energy level in excess of 13ME and boasting a high percentage digestibility.
Another example of this is Sugar beet pulp, with a very high proportion of digestible fibre and sugar it is a great source of carbohydrate and slow release energy, a low level of starch but very palatable and can act as a rumen buffer.
The same can be said for maize, a great source of energy, very palatable and highly digestible. Maize can be fed at high levels to finishing cattle without causing acidosis, due to its slowly fermentable starch and levels of bypass starch.
All of these raw materials are seen as high quality ingredients that do more than just provide one outcome.
As a company Crediton Milling are more than capable of making competitively price compound feeds, but we make a conscious effort to look for not only cheaper options but the most efficient. Using a good proportion of high quality ingredients in fixed formulations over the years we have seen, on many occasions that they return our customers great results.