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Groceries for a dairy herd – Audio

Victor Cabrera

Extension Dairy Management Specialist

Department of Dairy science

UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

(608) 265-8506

(608) 263-3308



Total Time: 2:33

0:22- Where to start

0:45- Website layout

0:53- Feed evaluations tradition

1:21- What to look for in dairy feed

1:46- Importance of feed price

2:23- Close Out




Sevie Kenyon: Victor, I need to go to the store for my dairy cows, what do I do?

 Victor Cabrera: Simple. Before you go, you stop by my webpage, which is Easy to find. Google it, dairy management in Wisconsin, and you will find a very nice and simple to use tool called FeedVal2012.

 Sevie Kenyon: And when a farmer goes to look at your website, what do they do?

 Victor Cabrera: Very simple, they just go to the tools section, which is very apparent there, and then one of the first tools within the feeding section would be FeedVal. And actually Wisconsin has had for a long time a tradition to try to do this kind of analysis. So FeedVal is not new to UW-Extension, UW-Madison. What is new is the new approach we have taken this time. It is a much simpler to use tool. It is completely online, and it comes with all the default values right away. Very simple to use, very straightforward.

 Sevie Kenyon: How many different choices is a dairy farmer looking at when he’s out shopping for cattle feed?

 Victor Cabrera: It depends. Farmers may look for one commodity, silage that they need at the time or maybe some protein source, and sometimes they may look for other different feed commodities at the same time. The interesting thing is that using this simple tool, they will be able to find out what are the best buys and the worst buys at one point in time.

 Sevie Kenyon: Victor, why is this feed price so important to dairy farmers?

 Victor Cabrera: It is heavily important because dairy farmers will spend about fifty percent, close to fifty percent in most of the cases in variable costs in feeds. So the major cost on a farm is feed. Every saving we have in feeds, will make a difference in the profitability of the dairy farm. So if we buy, what we say is, cows don’t need feeds. What cows need are nutrients. So we need to find out those feeds that have the cheapest nutrients, and this tool will give you that.

Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting today with Victor Cabrera, Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin Extension and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Madison, Wisconsin, and I am Sevie Kenyon.