Vol 5: No. 1
a Feed Inventory
What is a feed
What is inventory management?
How long will my feed last?
feed need to be purchased?
When is the best time to do a feed inventory?
Where can I get help with inventory management?
What is a feed inventory?
Doing a feed inventory
establishes your current stock of various feed ingredients on hand.
The process involves determining the volume of each feed stored and
then multiplying by the stored density to yield a weight of feed in storage.
For example, silage in a bunker silo has a dimension of 30 x 10 x 50. Its volume is 15,000 cu ft. If the silage has a stored density of 40 lb /cu ft (as fed), the weight of feed in the bunker is:
15,000 cu ft x 40 lb /cu
ft = 600,000 lb = 300 T as fed
There are several ways to
do a feed inventory: 1) pencil and paper, 2) computer spreadsheets, 3)
commercial software that integrates with your feed weighing system. There
are a number of publications and software tools that can help establish your
feed inventory. Some of these materials are listed below:
Dairy Freestall Housing
and Equipment (MWPS-7). 2000. Pages 130-135. Tables of
quantities of feeds in various storage types.
James A. Barmore. 2001.
Monitoring & managing feeding, inventory & shrink. p. 75-86. In:
Proceedings: Four State Applied Nutrition & Management
Conference. Iowa State University, Ames, IA. Midwest Plan Service
Publication 4SD11. Call 1-800-562-3618 or www.MWPSHQ.org to order a copy.
The following materials
can be found at the University of Wisconsin Team Forage Harvest and Storage
Feed inventory management is slightly more complicated. With inventory management, you are predicting how long an ingredient will be available to feed and making adjustments accordingly. If the projected date to feed depletion occurs before a new crop comes in, you need to consider if you will reduce the rate of consumption to extend the feed ingredient, purchase more of that feed, substitute an existing feed ingredient into the ration or a combination of these choices.
projected time to inventory depletion is calculated as:
Inventory (tons) / Consumption Rate (tons/day)
100 tons / 2 tons fed/day = 50 days to depletion
The projected feed to purchase (tons as fed) to meet feed needs at a given consumption rate is:
Consumption Rate (tons/day)] * Time till harvest (days)
tons 2 tons/day * 70 days = -40 tons (as fed) to purchase
(negative value means purchase, positive value means excess)
There are a number of
publications and software tools that can help establish your inventory and
manage it. Some of these materials are listed below:
Managing Dairy Feed Inventory (A2945) a University of Wisconsin bulletin available through your county extension office or off the internet at: http://www1.uwex.edu/ces/pubs/pdf/A2945.PDF
Dairy Feed Inventory
Planner - a useful dairy inventory spreadsheet
developed by an area Michigan State University extension dairy agent. Download at: www.canr.msu.edu/msue_thumb/articles/feedinv.htm
Feed inventory aid to
management - by Lee Kilmer, Dan Loy, Daryl Strohbehn and Dan Morrical.
Iowa State University. Disaster
There is no one best time
to do an inventory. Doing an
inventory at different times for different reasons may be beneficial.
For example, doing an inventory in:
allows you to make a projection to see if purchased feed will be needed or
if consumption rate may need to be adjusted.
This will allow needed purchases when commodity prices are apt to be
lower in winter and will allow purchases before December 31, assisting in
allows you to make a mid-course correction prior to the harvest season.
Estimates of density will be more accurate after having fed from a
storage for a while, so estimates of quantity stored will be more accurate.
June/July - allows
you an early warning of inadequacy of feed supplies for the up-coming
feeding season. Purchases of
standing crops remain an option if deficiencies are discovered.
Anytime you are required by a lender to provide a balance sheet, a feed inventory and the feed value is needed.
The information available from the sources in this article will be of help in doing your inventory and its management. Dont overlook the assistance available from well-trained nutrition professionals who can help you with these issues and decisions.