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Title: Simple least-cost ration formulation for small beef cattle operations in China

item Brown, Michael
item WU, J - Gansu Agricultural Uiversity
item HOLLOWAY, J - Texas Agrilife
item PENG, Y - Gansu Agricultural Uiversity

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2009
Publication Date: 11/18/2009
Citation: Brown, M.A., Wu, J.P., Holloway, J.W., Peng, Y.S. 2009. Simple least-cost ration formulation for small beef cattle operations in China [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science. Paper No. T276. Avaliable:

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only.

Technical Abstract: Feed costs are a significant portion of total costs in production of beef cattle and affect profitability. Further, it is critical that nutrients in rations are adequate to meet the nutritional requirements of cattle in small beef operations without being in excess of requirements. There are several software packages available for larger commercial beef cattle operations but there are few available for smaller producers. A program was developed using widely available spreadsheet software with the objectives of balancing rations for crude protein, energy, calcium and phosphorus while minimizing the ration costs per kg of dry matter. Feed ingredients commonly available in the U. S. and China were included using NRC tabular values for crude protein, TDN, net energy, calcium, and phosphorus for each ingredient. Equations for computation of estimated dry matter intake, ADG, and cost of gain were included for various classes and weights of feeder cattle using NRC formulae. The program accurately balanced rations for crude protein, energy, and minerals, independent of the number of feed ingredients included. However, as number of feed ingredients available for consideration by the program increased, the accuracy of least cost solutions decreased. Restriction of numbers of ingredients considered by the program resulted in more accurate least cost solutions. The program is useful in balancing rations and can give least cost solutions with properly limited ingredients included for consideration. It has utility in risk analysis by considering changes in prices of ingredients. With some training, the program could be a useful tool for owner/operators of small beef operations.