BEEF producers formulating rations for store cattle may find by-products more economic than cereals, according to Signet. Consultant Geoff Fish cautions that when someone has to be hired to mill-and-mix feed or bought in proteins are added, the mix may become more expensive than using wet feeds or dry by-products.
When mill-and-mix facilities are available on farm a protein such as rape meal is needed to provide 20% crude protein mix to supplement straw fed stock. This needs feeding 50:50 with cereal, increasing concentrate cost, he says.
"When wet feeding facilities are available brewers grains mixed 50:50 with pressed pulp make an inexpensive feed that can be fed virtually ad-lib to heifer stores. This mix is also suitable for fattening steers with 1-2kg of sugar beet pulp to supply extra energy."
When only dry feeds can be handled, Mr Fish advises considering malt nuts and dried sugar beet pulp.
These feeds can be offered ad lib, in equal proportions, with a little straw to finishing stores.
Producers with silage to feed this year, should have it analysed for energy, protein and intake potential, to formulate rations accurately and avoid wasting concentrate, he adds.