The true economic value of WCS can only be established by its use in your individual dairy situation. Here is a suggested starting point for your calculations.
The dollar value of any feed ingredient should reflect the nutrients it contains relative to the cost of nutrients in other available feedstuffs. The most comprehensive way to do this is with a computer that solves simultaneous equations given an array of available feedstuffs and their costs. However, these programs often have limitations, especially in the case of special ingredients, such as WCS, which supplies energy in the form of fat, plus protein and a digestible fiber. Also, the use of WCS will often increase milk fat test, although a small depression in milk protein often occurs. The net effect on milk price, however, has usually been positive. This means that the value of WCS is often more per ton than a least-cost computer formulation that ignores milk revenues.
A simple relative dollar value of WCS can be obtained by using a substitution formula. Consider:
Use the values in the following formula.
|Add the three totals of|
|A) Price of corn times .90|
A) $140/ton X .90 =
|B) Price of soybean meal (44%) times .25|
B) $300/ton X .25 =
|C) Price of CBH times .50|
C) $100/ton X .50 =
This value incorporates the contribution of fiber, which is crucial to the producing cow in the first trimester of lactation. During the last half of lactation, fiber is usually not a constant, and the value of fiber in the formula should be discounted by at least half.
The type, amount and quality of your homegrown forage must also be considered. One very important logistical advantage in using WCS is a reduced number of feed ingredients – the high nutritional quality of WCS often reduces the total number of other feedstuffs needed in the ration. Thus, farmers require less ingredient storage and less management time spent with purchasing and inventory control.