Keep beef out longer to save on straw costs

Keep beef out longer to save on straw costs

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Beef producers could save at least £21 a head on expensive straw bedding costs by delaying housing by six weeks and maximising the nutritional potential of late season grass, says David Thornton from Rumenco.

With straw already costing upwards of £125/t in the west of the country and bedding requirements of 5kg/head a day, costs will be running at more than 60p/head a day on some farms, before taking feed costs into account, he adds.  Over six weeks that's a straw cost of £21 an animal.

On many farms, David reckons it is feasible to leave youngstock or suckler cows outside for longer, particularly when underfoot conditions are relatively dry.

"If you can feed the silage you would have fed inside, outside in ring feeders, supplemented with any grazing still available and high energy and protein feed blocks you will be better off financially," says David.

Feed blocks typically cost about £11 a head for a six week period, he adds.


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