What is happening to the supply of supplemental crude protein sources?
- Dramatically lower demand for gasoline due to COVID-19 restrictions has resulted in collapsing prices for ethanol.
- Many plants across the country have either curtailed production or ceased altogether.
- Consequently, distillers grains have become much less available and more expensive.
What alternatives are available?
- Oilseed meals, such as soybean, canola, or sunflower meal.
- Commercial supplement with or without urea in either a dry or liquid form.
- High-quality roughages especially high-protein alfalfa hay.
- Other feedstuffs such as field peas or whole soybeans are other options.
What should I consider when choosing a protein source?
- Tools such as the SDSU Extension Feed Cost Calculator (https://www.igrowlivestocktools.org/#!/calculators/feed-cost) compare feeds based on delivered cost per unit of protein.
- Protein supplement choice can depend in part on what other feeds are being fed. Urea-based supplements require a rapidly soluble source of carbohydrates, which can be an issue if the rest of the diet is primarily low-quality, high-fiber roughage.
- Visit with a nutritionist or Extension specialist for more management considerations surrounding changing feed ingredients.
SDSU Extension Cow/Calf and Beef Nutrition Specialists
Adele Harty Adele.Harty@sdstate.edu
Julie Walker Julie.Walker@sdstate.edu
Ken Olson Kenneth.Olson@sdstate.edu
Olivia Amundson Olivia.Amundson@sdstate.edu
Robin Salverson Robin.Salverson@sdstate.edu
Warren Rusche Warren.Rusche@sdstate.edu