Feed Lot

AUG 2017

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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FEED•LOT  August 2017 15 about 7.6 tons per acre. In order to calculate space requirements for storage, the estimate is about 32 lb of dry matter earlage per cubic foot. Therefore, if the yield is 4.5 tons of d ry matter per acre, each acre of e arlage will require 281 cubic feet of storage space. For a customized evaluation of your earlage crop, consult with your GPLC nutrition- ist. Pricing earlage is perhaps less straightforward and open to inter- pretation. An accurate price of ear- lage needs to be based off corn. If we began with $4/bushel corn at 14% moisture ($166/ton of dry mat- ter), and assume that our earlage is 85% corn, then the earlage, based on corn, is worth $141/ton of dry matter. Then we deflate the value of the earlage for its inherent mois- ture content (40%), the earlage is worth $84.70/ton as-fed. This method is based off the value of the corn, and may not figure in any added cost of harvesting earlage over the cost of harvesting corn and each producer will need to figure that cost differential for themselves. The final part of the story is har- vesting and storing earlage. Typi- cally, earlage is harvested with a snapping or picking head on a chopper. It is very important for the chopper to be equipped with a ker- nel processor and the ability to ap- ply an inoculant to help ensure full and rapid fermentation. As with any ensilage, covering the bunker with a PLASTIC cover is essential. An oxygen barrier film is also very beneficial to ensure appropriate and complete fermentation. Earlage is a high energy, palat- able feedstuff with diverse appli- cations in the cattle feeding indus- try. For those of you growing or finishing cattle, it deserves serious consideration in your pro- duction scheme. If you want a cus- tomized evaluation of earlage in your operation, please contact your GPLC nutritionist. For more information, visit Great Plains Livestock Consulting, Inc. at www.gplc-inc.com. FL

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