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IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY University Extension Beef Ration and Nutrition Decision Software Standard & Professional Editions Cow Module Heifer Module Breeding Bull Module Growing Bull Module Feedyard Module Stocker Module

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Table of Contents

Introduction / Quick Start 4

Excel Trouble Shooting Guide 7

SettingsQuick Start 10Weather / Production Settings 12Producer Files 13File Utilities 14Files Created by BRaNDS 15

Feeds and Feed LibraryQuick Start -Professional Edition 16Quick Start -Standard Edition 17Mineral Bioavailability 22Feed Library Abbreviations 26Nutrition Overview 27

Cow ModuleQuick Start 40Reports 47

Heifer Module 54

Breeding Bull Module ________________________56

Growing Bull Module ________________________56

Feedyard Module ________________________Quick Start 57Details of Operation 57Reports 65

Stocker Module ________________________Quick Start 66Details of Operation 67Reports 70

Custom Mix ModuleQuick Start 72

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Equations __________________78

Example + Explanations __________________88

Protein Equations Explained ________________ 93

Inputs _________________ 96

References __________________97

Note to the user of BRaNDS 07:1. BRaNDS 07 is saved and will be installed in the compatibility mode. This allows

the program to be used with earlier versions of Excel. You may wish to optimize

your program to the *xlsm mode only if you are running Excel 07 on yourcomputer. Do this by choosing Program – Brands Application (see below). SelectBRaNDS target with RIGHT mouse button and then select PROPERTIES fromthe list that appears. In the target line change BRaNDS.xls to BRaNDS.xlsm.Select OK to finish.

2. Brands 07 will not run until you enable macros. With Excel 07, users must accessthe Trust Center to do this. After enabling close the program and restart. Theenabled sett ings should be saved automatically when you do this.

Target Line

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The Beef Ration and Nutrition Decision Software has been designed as an upgrade to theIowa State University beef ration evaluation spreadsheet, MCS-series . The guidelines setforth by the 1996 NRC publication, “Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle, SeventhRevised Edition” and subsequent updates provide the basis for this upgrade. The programitself is broken down into modules, and each module is discussed in further detail in thisdocumentation. The Beef Ration and Nutrition Decision Software is available inprofessional and standard editions. The Standard Edition allows for ration evaluation,batch sheet report generation and specifies supplement nutrient requirements. TheProfessional Edition does all of this, in addition to providing least-cost formulation of rations and supplements and projections on feedyard and stocker cattle.

System Requirements

The Standard Edition requires a version of MS (Microsoft) Excel or another spreadsheetthat is capable of reading an MS Excel version 5.0 or beyond spreadsheet. TheProfessional Edition requires a spreadsheet capable of reading MS Excel 2000 orbeyond. BRaNDS 07 Professional Edition was upgraded from the earlier versions toaccommodate MS Office 07 users as well. All copies of the BRaNDS program aredistributed in “compatibility mode.” For users of Excel 07, the copy of BRaNDS, afterinstallation, can be saved in the *.xlsm format. Earlier editions of BRaNDS – Professionalwill not work satisfactorily with Excel 07 systems.

Check for software patches that are available from Microsoft’s Web site for your versionof Windows and Excel. These patches are free upgrades from the company and may beaccessed at . If using Excel 07, be sure to check for anddownload the latest patches; otherwise, graphics might become disorientated whenviewing the screens.

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Before you start, you will need to have MS Excel installed on your

computer. Install your version of Excel using the “Custom Installation” rather than the“Typical Installation” option because the basic installation option will exclude somenecessary files used in running the BRaNDS program. If you do not know whether the“Custom” or “Typical” installation was performed, re-install the program at this time.

tabs edition available modules

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Comment boxes

The captions describing an input and an output are described by comment boxes thatappear when placing the mouse pointer over the top of the caption. If these commentboxes do not appear, fix the problem by:

(From Excel menu select)

Tools – Options – View – select the View tab – select Comment indicator only. (Excel 07 )

MS Office button – Excel Options – Advanced – Display – Indicator Only,Comment on Hover

Feed Library disappeared

Professional EditionIf the feed library is not saved, or if the directory where your version of Excel is removedfrom your hard drive, the feed library will disappear. The default feed library, whichoriginally came with your program, also is copied to the BRaNDS directory on the harddrive. Copy the file named “feedmill.iaj” and paste this file in the default directory Excelwould save your work to. This directory is shown on the Settings page.

Macros/Program does not do anything

Because this is an Excel spreadsheet, there are many embedded security issues to addressprior to operating this program. Therefore, be sure to select “Enable Macros” when theprogram is started. Then choose not to update any established links to other programs.

Security levels set on your particular system might be set too high. This will prevent thisprogram from functioning. Set the security level at medium in order to allow the macrocode to function. To do this, shut down the program, then:

(From Excel menu select)

Tools – Macro – Security – select the Security Level tab – select Medium. (Excel 2002 menu select)

Tools – Options – Security tab – select the Macro Security button – selectSecurity Level of Medium.Now start the program and be sure to choose Enable Macros as the program starts.

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(Excel 07 )MS Office button – Excel Options – Trust Center – Trust Center Settings –

Enable all Macros (select even though this selection is not recommended).

AlsoCheck box below — “Trust Access to the VB project model”

Missing Files – Excel Files

Professional EditionWhen starting your program, if a file is missing that is required, you will be promptlynotified. All of the necessary program files are available to you on your MS Excel or MSOffice installation software. To get these files in place, you may need to:

OPTION A – from Windows, select Control Panel – Add / Remove Programs – selectMS Office or MS Excel – select Add /Remove components and follow the directions.Some versions of Windows may give you the option to re-install or restore rather thanAdd/Remove components.

OPTION B – packaged with your program, copies of some of the more problematic filesare included. If one of these files is missing or not up to date, manually copy the file fromthe program CD to the appropriate location.

Copy these files to: C:\win\system folder or C:\winnt\system32 folder.Disk Mngt. Snap-In Object Library = DMVIEW.OCXForms2.0 Object Library = FM20.DLLOLE Automation = STDOLE.TLB

Copy these files to: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office MS Office 9.0 Object Library = MSO9.DLLMS Excel9.0 Object Library = EXCEL9.OLE

Copy this file to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\VBA\VBA6

Visual Basic for Applications = VBE6EXT.OLB

Note that most of this applies to the Professional Edition. Note also that the 9.0 editionscould be used in place of 8.0 editions if compatibility issues arise.

Copy this file to the C:\BRaNDS directory.Solver = SOLVER.XLA

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Be sure to copy the appropriate solver file to the BRaNDS directory based on the versionof Excel that you are running, 2000 versus 2002, etc. The solver file already should be onyour hard drive. Search for it by doing a file search, then copy it to your BRaNDS

directory. The solver for versions 2000 and 2002 also can be found on your BRaNDSprogram CD in the Excel Add On folder under Excel 2000 or Excel 2002.

Missing Files – Saved Files

Files that were previously saved do not appear in the file list boxes. This problem canoccur if the directory that the files were saved to changes. On the Settings page of theprogram look at the text box labeled “Data files stored in:” Your BRANDS program willuse the BRANDS directory as the default directory, however MS Excel may set thisdirectory to the “My Documents” directory unless you change it manually in the Excel –Tools – Options – General location. Occasionally, if you are using Excel for some otherapplication and then switch to the Ration program the Excel version may start consideringthe directory containing the ration program to be the default and show thisdirectory as the “Data files stored in” directory. To fix this, shut down all Excelapplications and Excel itself. Next restart the BRaNDS program and everything shouldresume back to normal.

Screen View

Depending on the computer screen resolution, your view of the program may becompromised. To orientate the program, start by:

(From Excel menu select)

View – Zoom – select the percent of zoom (i.e. 85%).

Now, drag the boarders of your screen to where you wish them to be set and save yoursettings (File-Save).

Note that the standard editions are designed to be compatible with many

versions of Excel. When saving workbooks that do not need to run on any computerother than your own, save your work in the version of Excel that you have. This willsignificantly reduce the memory requirements for storing files.

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Quick Start Steps: 2 parts

1st part-1. Select “Settings” tab.2. Scroll down to the bottom half of the Settings page (see figure below).3. Review weather and cattle settings at the bottom of the page and update

where necessary based on local data.4. Select “Save Settings” button to save these changes.5. Scroll to the top half of the screen for part 2.

This only needs to be done on the first running of the program, but it can be

updated whenever necessary.

Figure A - Settings page – bottom half

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2nd part — Professional Edition 1. On the top half of the Settings page, consultant data can be indicated if

necessary. (This information is saved when “Save Settings” button is

selected.)2. Select “New Producer” button.3. Indicate the name of the producer to set up a file on.4. Select the “Save” button.

If no producer file is set up, for instance if you run rations only for yourself,all ration data will be put into the BRaNDS folder and not into a named file, as would bethe case if a producer account was established.

Once producer names are added and saved, the name can be selected fromthe drop down list to open a producer’s file.

Figure B — Settings Page — Top Half

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Settings Page — Details of Operation

A page labeled as “Settings” is available for both Professional and Standard editions tocustomize weather, mature cow weight, mature bull weight, customize milk weights, calf

weights and pregnancy reports. Provide these settings prior to your first run of theprogram, then select “Save” (File-Save) from the Excel menu on top of the page (or SaveSettings button in the Professional Edition). Settings only need to be entered once andsaved. Settings may be changed whenever necessary.

Production/Weather Settings (Figure A)

The weather and production settings installed with your BRaNDS program are based oncentral Iowa data. These values will differ in different locations and should be updated.Entries should be made in the white-colored input boxes. The values in the tan areas arethe original program default values and will remain intact in case they need to be referredto or reset. The Quick Start step (indicated at the start of this chapter) outlines what isrequired to update these values. There are Web links provided on this page that assist inlocating historical, local weather data.

Noteworthy items:• Rainfall — Express snowfall in rainfall equivalents. In general, 9 inches of snow is

roughly 1 inch of rainfall.• Calf weight — An entry for small, medium and large birth weight calves can be

indicated in terms of average weights. Since some pregnancy determination isaccomplished with ultrasound, if twin pregnancies are detected, you may want to

use one of these categories for multiple births and use the other two for high andlow birth weights. For example, small birth weight = 70 lbs (for groups bred tocalving ease bulls), medium = 95 lbs (for non calving ease bred groups) and large= 150 lbs (for animals determined to be carrying twins).

• Mature weights — Mature weights are average weights at a body condition scoreof 5 and an age of 5 years.

• Days pregnant — This data is used with the Developing Heifer Module and breaksdown the trimester based on the day entered for reporting nutritional requirements.

• The settings provided on this page will be used for all producers listed.

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Producer File Setup (Figure C) — Professional Edition

BRaNDS 07 allows for better organization of multiple producers than the previousversions. Producer Files can be established by selecting the “New Producer” button fromthe Settings page and providing the contact information on the given producer. After

providing this information and selecting the “Save” button, a folder in the BRaNDSdirectory on your hard drive is established (see Figure D) and a copy of the default feedlibrary file, “feedmill.iaj,” is also copied to this folder. Notice in Figure C that theproducer selected is Roy Rogers, and in Figure D, Roy’s folder can now be seen. Eachtime that work is done for Roy after establishing his folder, Roy’s name is selected fromthe drop-down list first so it appears, then proceed to the Feed Library or ration balancingmodules.

Note that every time the Settings screen is viewed, the producerinformation box is cleared. Therefore, it is necessary to re-select the producer’s namefrom the list before advancing through the program.

Whenever no producer is selected from the list, all ration data is saved to the generalBRaNDS directory. This information can be moved manually to a folder if it wasmistakenly saved in the general directory. To do this, open the C:\BRaNDS directory andselect the file that needs to be moved. Then drag it with your mouse into the appropriatefolder.

If you have already done some rations in a previous version of BRaNDS and wish to movethese files into a given producer’s folder after his folder is established, simply open theBRaNDS directory folder on your hard drive (C:\) and drag the feed library and rationsassociated with the given producer into his folder. If you are using a feed library or rationfor multiple producers who now have individual folders, copy and paste these files to eachproducer folder involved.

To make corrections to producer contact information:Corrections or additions to a particular producer’s information can be done by selectingthe producer from the list, typing or re-typing the information and selecting the “Save”button. However, note that the name itself cannot be corrected this way. If the namemust be corrected, choose to “Add” a new producer. Then, after saving, manually copythe files from the old folder into the new/corrected folder.

To delete producer folders:Manually delete folders of producers by opening the C:/BRaNDS directory and selectingthis folder and deleting it.

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An area for name, address, phone number, etc., is also available on thispage for individuals who prepare and evaluate rations for producers. This data will appearon all printed reports and is saved after selecting the “Save Settings” button.

Figure C

File Utilities (Figure C) — Professional Edition

This Settings area also allows for data backup, data transfer and producer file setup withthe Professional Edition. The Back-up procedure will not delete the data on the sourcedrive after copying. The Transfer will copy and then delete the source data records. TheRestore function will place the backup or transferred data back onto the original sourcedrive. To use these utilities, simply indicate the drive to which these files are to be sent inthe input box, then select the “OK” button next to the box. Each ration file is about 1kilobyte in size. A feed library is about 46 kilobytes. These routines will work with a

flash drive or a 3½-inch floppy disk. A rewritable CD can be used in some situations, butit may not always work since some CD writers are not capable of being invoked remotelyby another application.

ISU Feedlot Monitor users also can tie-in with the BRaNDS program in terms of transferring the feed library from the Feedlot Monitor into the BRaNDS program and thentransferring rations from the BRaNDS program back to the Feedlot Monitor.

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Modifications to the feed library used for the Feedlot Monitor must be done first in theFeedlot Monitor before the library is moved to the BRaNDS program. Rations that youwish to transfer can be selected from the “Transfer Ration” list.

Files created by BRaNDS — Professional EditionCustom mixes — *.ximFeed libraries — *.iajCow rations — *.wocHeifer rations — *.fqf Breeding Bull rations — *.bqbGrowing Bull rations — *.gqbFeedyard — the series names — *.fyd

— the ration name — *.fyrStocker — the series name — *.stk

— the ration name — *.skr

Figure D

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Feed Library

Quick Start - -- - Professional Edition

1. Select “Feeds” tab to open library page.2. Select Feed Library from drop-down list.3. Select “Restore” button to bring up data.4. Make corrections or additions, if necessary, to feedstuff nutrient profiles.5. Indicate the feeds you want to use in a ration by numbering them in an

order appropriate for adding to a mixer if one is used. (1 to 15 feeds maybe placed into a ration; 1 to 20 may be placed into a custom mixsupplement.)

6. Select the button that indicates the type of ration you are to formulate(Cow, Heifer, Feedyard, …)

7. If you are only editing the library and not formulating a ration, be sure to

select the “Save” button after making any changes.

Rations are not automatically updated if the nutrient content is changed.

Feed Library — Professional Edition

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Quick Start — Standard Edition

1. Select “Feeds” tab to open library page.2. Make corrections or additions, if necessary, to feedstuff nutrient profiles.3. Observe the number in the first column preceding the feed name; use this

number to indicate the feed to be used in the ration on the Cows, Heifers,Feedyard, etc., page.

4. Changes are saved when the spreadsheet is saved.

Feed Library — Standard Edition

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Feed Library — Details of Operation

There is room for 180 feeds in a feed library, but the Professional Edition of the programdoes not limit the number of feed libraries that can be stored. Therefore, in cases whereone individual may assist a number of producers or a producer has animals in differentremote locations, a separate library can be maintained for each. BRaNDS 07 ProfessionalEdition will make a copy of the default feed library, “feedmill.iaj,” and place this copy ineach producer folder when the producer is added. This file can then be modified withinthe producer’s folder and be renamed. All of a producer’s feed libraries will be kepttogether and viewable when his name is selected on the Settings page. Feed libraries canbe manually copied from the producer’s folder and be placed into other producers’ folders.To do this, open the BRaNDS directory, find the source folder and file within that folder,copy the file, find the destination folder and paste the file into that folder.

Unlike the Professional Edition, where one library may be accessed by any module, theStandard Edition modules can only refer to the attached library. A given library, however,can be copied and pasted into each module manually. Use Copy-Paste Special- thenValues when moving data between libraries or from one row to another within a library.


• A default feed library is provided. Update, rearrange or replace with correctinformation as needed.

• Inputs with an asterisk (*) next to the caption are required inputs.• “Open” columns can be used to specify user-defined nutrients or additives.(Professional Edition)

• Limit feed names to 15 characters if you plan on saving the feed library.• Some nutrients can be excluded from reports by unchecking the box above the

caption (see Figure E).• Desired levels and maximum levels of the user-defined items can be indicated

above the “open” columns. See example in Figure E where an ionophore has beenentered for a cattle supplement. The desired level was set to 200 mg, and themaximum level was set to 325 mg.

User-defined Analysis — “Open” Columns

In addition to the normal items of the analysis, such as protein, energy, calcium, etc., thereis the provision for the user to add additional areas to evaluate. These areas are labeled as“open ”.

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One of these open spots is designed for items presented in a percentage form. Anotherone of these areas is for grams per ton. The other two are designed for a ppm form. Inthe columns labeled as “ open, ” a particular item can be included in analysis. For example,if chromium is a concern, type “chromium” over the word “open” and then indicate the

level of this item in the feed and water source. Chromium will then be part of the rationevaluation.

Figure E – Scrolled right in Professional Edition Feed Library

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Save, Restore and Delete Feed Libraries

Professional Edition •

To save a given feed library, provide an eight-character or eight-space (or less)name in the list box at the top and select Save from the file utility buttons.

• To restore a library, from the list at the top of the feed module, type in the name orselect the library from the drop-down list. Select the Restore button or selectRestore from the file utility buttons.

• To delete a feed library, follow the steps involved to restore a feed library. Thenselect the Delete button from the file utility buttons. The feed library name willdisappear, but the screen will stay intact until another feed library is restored. Atthis point, the existing library date can be renamed and saved as a new library.

Be sure that you do not delete a feed library that is being used by a saved ration.

Standard Edition The Standard edition does not allow for the flexibility of storing feed libraries that theprofessional version does. What is seen on the Feeds page is what is saved when theworkbook is saved. These items can be modified, cut or pasted to other workbooksmanually. Use the Copy – Paste Special – Values when pasting information to a feed


Using Feeds in a Ration

1. Standard Edition: Select the feeds that you may feed. Each feed has its ownnumber; use this number on the cow, heifer or whatever module you will use.

2.Professional Edition:

Number these feeds from 1 to 15 in number column. If feeds will be put into a mixer and delivered, number the feeds in the order theywould be added.

3 . Professional Edition: If the feeds are going to a cow ration, select the “Cows”button at the top. The feeds will be transferred in the order they were numbered.

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4. Professional Edition: If the feeds are to be used in the Heifer or Bull, etc.,Module, you would select one of these buttons instead of “Cows.”

Professional Edition: Every time you make an adjustment to a feed in thelibrary, be sure to select the “Cows,” “Heifers,” … transfer button in order that newanalysis is also transferred to the ration you are currently evaluating.

Water (Professional Edition)

A water analysis can also be included in the ration evaluation. Water does not need to be

numbered to be included. Provide analysis values of dissolved minerals and nitrogen inwater in the Feed Library. Note that the units that the concentrations are to be recordedas may not always directly correspond to the units provided in a water report. Consult thecomment boxes in the column heading to assist in the unit conversion. Appendix A of theprogram may also be helpful for making the conversions.

Pasture nutrient analysis entry is an issue to consider since the feed is

somewhat unstable when evaluated. Generally there is a 5 to 10 percent loss in dry matter

during dry down after cutting due to sugar loss from plant respiration. Because of this

along with animal selectivity, energy content of the feed should be increased around 10%

from a laboratory report value.

Adapted from Hoglund, 1964

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CobaltCobaltous Carbonate CoCO3 47.00 110.00 51.70Cobaltous Oxide CoO 70.00 55.00 38.50Cobaltic Oxide Co3O4 73.00 20.00 14.60Cobaltous Sulfate CoSO4(H2O)7 21.00 100.00 21.00

CopperCuprous acetate CuC2O2H3 51.00 100.00 51.00Cupric chloride (tribasic) Cu2(OH)3Cl 58.00 115.00 66.70Cupric sulfide CuS 66.00 25.00 16.50Cupric oxide CuO 75.00 15.00 11.25Cupric sulfate CuSO4(H2O)5 25.00 100.00 25.00Copper Lysine variable 20.00 100.00 20.00Copper EDTA variable variable 95.00 variable

IodineSodium iodide NaI 84.00 100.00 84.00Potassium iodide KI 69.00 100.00 69.00Calcium iodate Ca(IO)3 64.00 95.00 60.80Pentacalcium orthoperiodate Ca5(IO6)2 39.00 100.00 39.00Diiodosalicyclic acid C7H4I2O3 65.00 15.00 9.75Ethylenediamine dihydriodine C2H8N2(HI)2 80.00 105.00 84.00 IronFerrous sulfate heptahydrate FeSO4(H2O)7 20.00 100.00 20.00Ferrous carbonate FeCO3 38.00 10.00 3.80Ferric citrate variable 20.00 110.00 22.00Ferric EDTA variable variable 95.00 variable ManganeseManganese monoxide MnO 60.00 60.00 36.00Manganese dioxide MnO2 63.00 35.00 22.05Manganese carbonate MnCO3 46.00 30.00 13.80Manganese sulfate MnSO4(H2O) 30.00 100.00 30.00Manganese methionine variable 20.00 125.00 25.00 SeleniumSodium selenite Na2SeO3 45.00 100.00 45.00

Selenium (1.6%) n.a. 1.60 100.00 1.60Selenium (0.16%) n.a. 0.16 100.00 0.16Cobalt selenite variable variable 105.00 variableSelenomethionine variable variable 245.00 variableSelenoyeast variable variable 290.00 variable ZincZinc carbonate ZnCO3 56.00 60.00 33.60

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Zinc oxide ZnO 72.00 100.00 72.00Zinc sulfate ZnSO4(H2O) 36.00 100.00 36.00Zinc methionine variable 20.00 120.00 24.00Adapted from Ammerman etal., 1995 and NRC, 1998

KC Olson, Commercial Agriculture Program -University of Missouri

Feed Analysis Inputs

Generally, our best estimate of nutrient content within a given feedstuff comes fromsending the feed sample to a commercial laboratory and running an NIR analysis on the

sample. Other analysis methods may be more accurate, but considering cost and timelyturnaround, it is very difficult to beat this system for obtaining a relatively reasonablenutrient content profile of a given feed at any given point of time. For stored feeds, thevalues provided from the lab analysis are probably just fine as they are reported. Forpasture samples, though, it may be wise to make some adjustments to the lab results.Pasture samples, unlike most stored feed samples, are not cured; therefore, they are not asstable. The result is carbohydrate loss due to plant respiration and moisture loss due todrying during transport from the pasture to the lab.

Air temperature, humidity and time are involved and will cause variability, but since ourgoal is to get a close estimate, use the report values and make small adjustments to the dry

matter content (decrease value by 1 or 2 percent) and energy values (increase TDN, NEm,NEg by 5-10 percent).

The other issue that is present in both stored feed and even more so in pasture is that feednutrient content changes over time. Variability is not necessarily a bad thing, but it issomething we need to consider. The following example shows this situation with Kansastallgrass prairie pasture (Example A), Oklahoma wheat pasture (Example B), andWisconsin alfalfa (Example C). Stored feeds that are “put up” quickly and pasturesthat are maintained at a certain stage of maturity by a grazing rotation are much less likelyto show the extreme variability.

Example ANutrient Analyses for Burned Tallgrass Prairie Forage - Esophageal Masticate

Month DM (%) NDF (%) ADF (%) CP (%)January 55 73.68 48.16 3.77February 60 72.59 53.06 4.83March 65 73.62 48.84 4.47April 25 67.72 45.42 9.65

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May 25 68.07 42.93 15.61June 25 74.13 49.5 10.88July 30 80.83 44.78 8.95August 35 75.91 46.04 6.6September 35 68.75 48.45 6.24October 40 69.47 46.76 6.04November 45 74.14 51.03 4.57December 50 73.54 48.24 3.54

Example BOklahoma Wheat Pasture

Day a Date DM% OM% IVOMD% CP% RDP (%of CP)


-7 11/12/1998 17.5 88 90.9 30.6 77.2 0.4540 11/20/1998 -- -- -- -- -- --

20 12/9/1998 19.2 91.9 90.6 29.5 78 0.38729 12/18/1998 18.8 88.8 87.7 26.9 76.8 0.31846 1/4/1999 37.5 89.4 84.7 27.4 75.3 0.3262 1/20/1999 40.7 89 87.1 24.1 76.6 0.27683 2/10/1999 26.7 87.5 88.6 27.2 75.7 0.32397 2/24/1999 28.1 89.2 89.2 22.9 79.2 0.283

125 3/24/1999 24.8 90.1 90.7 24.9 77.5 0.29139 4/7/1999 22.3 90.7 88.8 23.6 75 0.269153 4/21/1999 25.6 91.7 82.4 16.9 79.3 0.208174 5/13/1999 26.2 90.9 79.7 13.6 75.8 0.176

Example CWisconsin Alfalfa

RFQ CrPro%Height

(in.) Stage5/14/2007 220 29 19 Veg.5/17/2007 210 26 20 Veg.5/21/2007 200 24 22 Veg.5/24/2007 180 23 24 Bud5/29/2007 170 21 27 Bud5/31/2007 160 19 28 Bud

6/4/2007 145 17 31 Bloom6/7/2007 140 16 32 Bloom

6/11/2007 135 15 34 Bloom

RFQ (Relative Forage Quality)

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Feed Library Abbreviations

TDN = total digestible nutrients

NE m = net energy maintenanceNE g = net energy growth

CP = crude protein

DIP = rumen degradable intake protein

Sol. = CP solubility in water

NDF = neutral detergent fiber

ADF = acid detergent fibereNDF = effective neutral detergent fiber (% of NDF processed or ground up)

NFC = nonfiber carbohydrate

Salt = Na + Cl Zn = zinc

Ca = calcium Cu = copper

P = phosphorus Mn = manganese

Mg = magnesium Co = cobalt

K = potassium I = iodine

S = sulfur Fe = ironSe = selenium

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Nutrition Overview

The following is a condensed general overview of the nutritional elements we wouldconsider when balancing a diet for ruminant animals — animals with a four-compartmentstomach, such as cattle, sheep, deer and goats.

ProteinProtein is used for bodily structures. Protein is made up of amino acids, and whatsequence the amino acids are tied together accounts for the difference between proteins. Generally, we are not as concerned about amino acid supply with ruminants as we are withnonruminants, since the microorganisms in the rumen degrade much of the proteinconsumed from the diet and synthesize new amino acids and proteins. This degradedprotein is referred to as “degradable intake protein.” The protein that is later made iscalled “microbial protein.” There is a symbiotic relationship between the animal and themicroorganism in this case, since the microbial proteins are of high quality and are readilyused by the animal. In fact, when the proper substrates are provided to themicroorganisms, actual protein is not required by the ruminant animal. For instance, anitrogen source, such as urea or ammonia, can be supplied along with a fermentablecarbohydrate source to facilitate the production of protein in the rumen by themicroorganisms for the animal’s use. There is some adaptation time required wheneverthe diet is changed or if a situation like the one just referred to is implemented because amicroorganism population needs to be developed to effectively utilize the feed substrate.Adaptation times vary, but three weeks is a bare minimum for minor diet adjustments.

Occasionally, some merit can be recognized by providing specific amino acids to ruminant

animals. Highly productive animals, in terms of growth and milk production, or younganimals respond to amino acid inclusions that bypass the rumen degradation process. Thisis called non-degradable intake protein or bypass protein. When one considers this bypassprotein fraction, the amino acid profile is of concern. Those amino acids that are in thelowest quantity relative to animal use requirements are called “limiting” and thus, sourcesof the limiting amino should be considered when providing a supplement. The mostlimiting amino acid is both animal and feedstuff dependant. In general, under theconditions animals experience most often in the USA, the sulfur-containing amino acidsare the most limiting in antler growth and milk production, while lysine is the most limitingamino acid for body growth.

Protein in feed is most often described in terms of crude protein percent, which in fact is ameasure of nitrogen contained in the sample. Based on the premise that protein isapproximately 16% nitrogen, the crude nitrogen value is converted to protein or potentialprotein in the feed, which we call crude protein. In the past, crude protein was used todescribe an animal’s requirement for protein, but because not all crude protein is proteinor is capable of being digested and used by the animal, the concept of metabolizableprotein has been implemented. Metabolizable protein takes into account both degradable

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and by-pass fractions and is what the name implies, that protein whichcan be metabolized, or used, by the animal.

Our goal is to meet the metabolizable protein requirement. We can meet this requirementwith different amounts of degradable and bypass protein fractions, but to do this with the

least amount of crude protein, it is good to supply the degradable protein requirementfirst. This requirement is dependent on fermentable carbohydrate intake. Then, theaddition of non-degradable protein is done to finish satisfying the overall requirement.Excess degradable protein is excreted in the urine as urea and ammonia. Excretion of excess nitrogen in this manner has an energy requirement and can result in an overallincrease in the maintenance energy requirement. A shortage of degradable protein willpromote a situation called nitrogen recycling. This process captures nitrogen in urine andmoves it to the rumen via the blood. Crude protein solubility is another term that is usedin this mix and refers to the extent the crude protein can be dissolved into solution (water).It does not necessarily refer to rumen degradability, but it can affect blood pH.

EnergyEnergy is a common term familiar to most, yet it seems that studying energy metabolism issimilar to studying faith in that we do not see energy as it is — we only see the effectsenergy brings about. Often we describe feeds or diets in terms of their energy content perunit of weight, or we describe different nutrients such as protein, fat, carbohydrate andfiber in terms of the energy they contain. The energy is not the feed, but the bondingstrength between the elements making up the feed. It is difficult to address this issue sincewe cannot see these bonds, but we can arrive at a value to account for this strength basedon the heat that is produced when these bonds break. The more heat, the more energy isthe principle. Heat is then measured in calories, and nutrients are described in terms of thecalories generated. Requirements are expressed in terms of calories. Smaller animals haverequirements described in kilocalories (calorie x 1,000), and large animals usemegacalories (calorie x 1,000,000) to describe a requirement.

The heat generated is simple, but it is not a complete means of determining the energyvalue of food. The issue that needs to be addressed is the digestibility of the feedstuff bythe animal, meaning the potential of the animal to utilize this bond energy. An examplewould be the comparison between a bushel of corn and a block of oak wood. Both wouldhave a similar energy value based on heat production when burned, but for the animal, theenergy value of the corn would be much higher than that of the oak log because the animalhas a difficult time digesting the oak log.

Because of this issue of digestibility, earlier research work used the term Total DigestibleNutrient (TDN) to provide a unit of measure for usable energy. Currently, we are morelikely to use energy terms such as “net energy” and “metabolizable energy” to moreaccurately describe an energy requirement. Net energy is the energy retained in tissueafter something has been eaten.

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Metabolizable energy is retained energy, like net energy, but includesheat energy released due to digestion and metabolism. Both terms are utilized, and thequantity of energy from a given feed will differ based on the animal that consumes it. Forinstance, a ruminant can utilize fibrous feeds much better than other animals and derive asizable amount of energy from them through the fermentation process the feed undergoes

in the rumen.

In general terms, fat is the most energy-dense feed; alcohols and volatile fatty acids arenext in energy density; nonstructural carbohydrates (starch, sugar, pectin) and proteinsrank next; and then fiber, or structural carbohydrates as they are sometimes referred to,rank toward the end of this list.

As noted earlier, protein requirements exist, but the protein also can be used for energy.As for the other energy-producing feeds, there also are requirements. The fatty acidlinolenate is one fatty acid that is needed for fiber levels of some magnitude based on theanimal to maintain normal digestion and production of essential nutrients, like vitamins, by

the animal through the digestion/metabolism processes.

When fiber is addressed in terms of requirement, we are concerned not only with thequantity of fiber, but also with the chewability or effectiveness of the fiber. Processingreduces the effectiveness of the fiber; for instance, dry hay is 90-100% effective. If thishay is chopped coarsely, it is about 60% effective. If the hay is chopped to 1-inch particlelength, it is about 30% effective. If it is ground and pelleted, it becomes about 5%effective.

Previously, nutritionists dealt with crude fiber when expressing a fiber requirement, butcurrently, “neutral detergent” and “acid detergent” fiber are the terms used. These termsare based on the chemical process used to calculate the fiber percentage of the feedstuff.The acid detergent fiber is a fraction of the neutral detergent fiber composed of celluloseand lignin. An estimate of the digestibility of the fiber can be determined by comparing theacid detergent fiber fraction relative to the neutral detergent fiber fraction. The closer thisratio is to 1.00, the less digestible the fiber will be to the animal.

VitaminsVitamins are used for a variety of bodily functions, primarily in the role of coenzymes.Vitamins are broken down into two classes: fat-soluble vitamins, which include vitaminsA, D, E, K; and the water-soluble vitamins, which include vitamin C, biotin, folic acid,cyanocobalamin (B12), choline, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine (B6), thiamin (B1)and riboflavin (B2). The animal requires all of these, but we do not need to supply manyof them — especially in the case of healthy ruminants because the rumen’smicroorganisms can synthesize these vitamins.

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Occasionally, sick or young ruminants do require somesupplementation, or maybe it is better said that “stressed” ruminants show a goodresponse to the water-soluble vitamins. Supplementation of these vitamins requires eitherinjection into the tissue or rumen protection through encapsulation to ensure they are keptintact for absorption and utilization.

Vitamins that must be supplemented in the diet of ruminants are vitamins A and E.Vitamin D would need to be supplemented if the animal did not receive natural sunlightregularly. Vitamins A and E are found in very large quantities in green plants. Animalsthat graze in abundant pastures do not require further supplementation of these nutrients.Animals fed stored feeds would require a supplemental vitamin A or E provision in thediet. For short-term feeding of stored feeds, this supplement may not be necessary at thefull level since the animal can store these vitamins in body tissue, such as the liver. Duringlong-term feeding, though, it is advisable to supplement these vitamins fully.

MineralsMinerals are necessary to include in the diet of all living organisms. Some minerals arerequired in large quantities, thus referred to as macrominerals, and others are required attrace levels, which are called trace minerals. The feeds an animal consumes are theprimary source of these minerals in the diet. However, issues can arise because a givenfeedstuff of plant origin will contain a variable level of the mineral due to: the maturity of the plant when harvested; the soil-plant interactions based on soil pH and soil mineralconcentration; and season-climate interactions on the plant. To add to this quandary of issues, some plants concentrate certain elements in their tissues, while others are resistantto this phenomenon. This issue can result in mineral toxicities to the animal that consumesthe plant, or it can result in unfavorable imbalances because each element demonstratesinteractions with other nutrients.

The body regulates absorption of minerals and does store minerals in bone or tissue, suchas the liver, for later use when intake is limited. During different stages of production, theabsorption, storage and utilization of these minerals is modified. Pregnancy, lactation,age, gender, environmental temperature, sunlight/darkness hours, sexual maturity andwork will cause the changes.

Please note that both soil concentration, soil pH, mineral form in soil and plant type arethe key factors in how much mineral an animal will receive naturally from a given feedstuff grown in a given area. Data by county regarding mineral concentrations in soil can beaccessed at the following site:

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The following soil maps are compiled from the United States Geological Survey DataAnd provide a sense of variability of soil mineral concentrations.

Macro Minerals

Calcium — Used in bones, muscle and milk — Seems to be absorbed by plants in higher pH soils— Works with phosphorus, vitamin D, magnesium and protein— Excess may interfere in iodine absorption— Usually does not need to be supplemented on all forage diets, but it issupplemented when the diet has a large grain fraction— Data given as a percentage below

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Phosphorus — Used in bones, muscle, milk and energy metabolism

— Works with calcium and in many of the same bodily systems— Some forms of phosphorus have strong anionic properties and canenhance changes in blood pH and form kidney stones.

— More available to plants/animal in soils near neutral pH— Usually does not need to be supplemented in grain diets— Data given as a percentage below

Magnesium — Used in bones, muscle, milk and neurological function— Often found with calcium in nature (rocks) and in the animal— More available to plants/animals in soils near neutral to basic in pH— Data given as a percentage below

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Sodium & Chloride — Used in a number of bodily functions for many things, but

are especially important for maintaining blood +/- ioniccharges (electrolyte)

— Usually supplemented

— Data given as a percentage below

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Sulfur — Component in proteins at the amino acid level

— Sulfur in the form of sulfate has the pH effects as described with phosphorus— More available to plants/animals in soils near neutral to basic in pH— Usually does not need to be supplemented if all-natural proteins are used

— Data given as a percentage below (seems to be adequate in soil where acidrainfall occurs)— Groundwater may also be a sulfur source and often is associated with

elevated iron levels in some water sources.

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Potassium — Used as a cation (electrolyte) in body fluids

— Used in muscle and milk — More available to plants/animals in soils near neutral to basic in pH— Usually does not need to be supplemented because of adequate levels in

common feeds— Data given as a percentage below

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Trace MineralsIn many situations, routine evaluation of trace-mineral levels in feedstuffs is not done dueto the cost of evaluation. Therefore, minimal levels based on the NRC’s guidelines are

often supplemented in areas where a trace element is known to be low.

Cobalt — Required by rumen microbes and in the production of vitamin B12— Atlantic states may show deficiency— Higher concentrations in legumes than grasses— Works with zinc, but excessive levels interfere with dietary iron— Usually supplemented, but usually adequate in grazing animals— Data given as ppm below

Iodine — Low in recently glaciated areas, more abundant in ocean states— Calcium, iron, bromine, fluorine, percholates, manganese and cobalt— Nitrate can reduce uptake— Usually supplemented in all states— No map available

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Manganese — Used for metabolism and bone

— Excess calcium, phosphorus or iron will decrease availability— More available to plants/animals in acidic soils— Usually supplemented

— Data given as ppm below

Molybdenum — Used in some enzymes; used to regulate copper availability in sheep— Higher in western soils— More available to plants/animals in soils basic in pH— Usually does not need to be supplemented— Data given as ppm below

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Selenium — Used for muscle metabolism, works in conjunction with vitamin E

— More available to plants/animals in soils basic in pH— Some plants accumulate toxic levels of selenium, but cereal grains seem

to resist this situation

— Usually supplemented, except in western states outside of pacific NW— Data given as ppm below

Zinc — Used for many growth and health processes in animal, works with vitamin A— More available to plants/animal in acidic soils— Excess calcium, cadmium, iron, selenium, lead and chromium decrease

availability— Usually supplemented; data given as ppm below

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Cow Module

The Cow Module is designed for cattle after having their first calf (first-calf heifers)through mature, aged cows. Refer to the Heifer module for females younger than 24months of age or females prior to parturition.

Quick Start1. Refer to Settings and Feed Library Quick Start steps.2. Provide a ration name (File Name).3. Provide / update the inputs. ( See Figures F & G)4. The “Formulate” button can be pressed to formulate the ration in a least

cost manner (Professional Edition) or amounts of feeds can be typed indirectly.

5. Review ration statistics and choose to “Save” the ration.

6. Supplement specifications can be formulated or a custom supplement canbe formulated.7. Reports can be printed.

Figure F — Standard Edition — Cow Inputs

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Figure G — Professional Edition — Cow Inputs


• File Name or name of the ration scenario can be any length. Professional Edition names/ration file will be stored in the same location where the feed libraries arestored on the hard drive but will be given a different extension (*.woc) from thefeed libraries (*.iaj), heifer files, etc.

• Feeding Period – Start & End dates — Indicate the time duration the ration isbalanced for based on the production phase of the cows. Keep duration to 3months or less.

• Mature size — Based on Settings page input. Younger animals are scaled downfrom a mature size equivalent in terms of body weight and milk production.Growth requirements are calculated from this value as well. First calf at 85%mature weight, second calf at 92% mature weight.

• Current condition score — 1 (thin) to 9 (fat) system• Breed type — Is used since a given animal can be composed of a pure breed or a

number of unknown combinations. Specify the animal based on the strongestgeneral breed feature. Maintenance, hide thickness and milk production will referto the breed type. Milk production can be specified in the Professional

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Edition for each breed type. The follow correspond to the maintenance factor andhide thickness of breed type.

Breed type Milk (lbs) Maint. Adj. Hide thickness

British_lower _milk 15 1.0 very thick

British_higher_milk 20 1.0 average

Exotic_lower_milk 20 1.0 average

Exotic_higher_milk 25 1.1 average

Brahman_X* 15 0.95 thin

Very_high_milk 35 1.2 thin

Club_cow 17 1.1 average

* Brahman_X maintenance requirement is increased 15% during cold weather.

• Desired condition score change — Select from the list the level of conditionthat you desire your cows to attain per month from where they are currently.

• Production stage — Lactating, gestating, etc.• Calf birth weight — Based on Settings page inputs.• Wind exposure — Affects maintenance requirement. “Normal” means the

animals can move to a different area to break the full force of the wind eventhough they are outside.

• Hair condition — Affects maintenance requirement. More mud and wetness

has a greater impact.• Hair coat — Affects maintenance requirement. Deals with seasonal changes to

coat and breed effects.• Temperature — “Normal” indicates a value as listed on the Settings page.• Maintenance adj. (Professional Edition) — Allows provisions for extra

maintenance requirements due to some management “stress,” for exampledisease, transportation, mixing animals, etc. This maintenance provision willbe added to the already calculated provisions (shown in italics).

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Ration Balancing — Professional Edition

Figure I shows the ration balancing section of the Cow Module of the ProfessionalEdition. The Professional Edition allows the user to view how a given ration will work with the first calf, second calf and mature cows simultaneously or individually. The inputsused in this area include:

• Feedstuffs — Imported from the Feed Library (see Feed Library Quick Start)• Lbs/day — Pounds of each feed fed. These values can be input directly or

may be calculated automatically by selecting the “Formulate” button. Thiscalculation is done in a least-cost approach with the feeds that are chosen.

Amounts of each feed can be put in on a percent basis as well. Whenamounts are put in this way, select the “%” button to convert these values toAs-Fed pounds.

By selecting the “\/” or “/\” buttons, all feed weights will be decreased orincreased by 2% each click. When the letter “a” is put into the TMR columnand these buttons are selected, only those feeds with the letter “a” in the TMRcolumn will be adjusted down or up.

• Waste % — Feed delivered but not consumed due to wind loss, mud, etc.When feeds are transferred into a ration, a default feed waste of 5% is alsotransferred. There is always some waste, and this waste needs to be includedwhen formulating a ration. Update this value as necessary.

TMR mix — To include a feed on a TMR batch sheet, provide the letter “x”in this column. To exclude a feed from the batch, clear the “x” from thecolumn. To include the particular feed in a batch mix, but hold its levelconstant despite increasing or decreasing batch size, provide the letter “h” inthis column. If the letter “b” is put in this column, the feeds with a “b” can beput into a blend recipe report. This report would be used in a situation where anumber of ingredients are blended together at a feed mill and then fed to theanimals to supplement the forage, as one might supply a creep feed to calves.

• eNDF level — This input allows for a minimum level of effective fiber to beincluded in the ration formulation when the “Formulation” button is pressed.

• Consumption ratio — This input allows the formulation to increase ordecrease feed intake estimates that result from pressing the “Formulation”button. A value of 1.10 would result in a 10% increase in dry matter intakeestimates.

• Energy Supplement — Drop-down lists allows the user to choose from thecurrently selected feeds which feed to use if extra energy is needed. Thenumber of pounds required to balance energy needs is then shown in the rationevaluation area.

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Figure I — Professional Edition — Ration Balancing Screen

• Scale Intake — Checkbox that allows for the simultaneous evaluation of aration for different ages of cows under similar conditions. When checked, thefeed delivered corresponds to the feed consumed by the mature animal. Theyounger cows generally eat proportionally less, and the amounts are reducedaccordingly. If unchecked, feed delivery corresponds to all groups. Whenbalancing a ration for a particular cow age group, uncheck this box and focusonly on that age group in the evaluation. Other age categories can be turnedoff by unchecking the check boxes at the bottom of the age column labeled as“Include on printout summary” (see Figure J).

• Water — Can be included in ration formulation and evaluation if the check

box next to the “Water” caption is checked. Do not check this box if you wishto omit water data.

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Figure J — Professional Edition — Ration Balancing Screen

• Ration Statistics — Results regarding the formulated ration can be viewed ina number of ways. Some results are expressed in terms of percentage of requirement satisfied by the ration (energy, protein, Ca, P); others aredescribed as a concentration in the ration. Minerals and vitamins are also listedin units provided over units required. In the situation where the supply isbelow the requirement, the status line will indicate this as “low;” if the levelsupplied is beyond the window of safe supplemental levels, a “warning” willappear. The warning does not mean the level supplied is toxic, but it doesindicate that problems may arise if the supplied level is maintained for extendedperiods of t ime.

• Print Supplement Requirement and Feeding Rate — When a ration does

not provide all that is needed nutritionally, a report can be generated thatindicates the levels of the deficient nutrients still needed. By indicating the“Feeding Rate,” for instance a half pound, a calculated concentration of nutrients can be specified on this report.

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• Formulate Custom Supplement — This button will transfer ration details to

the Custom Mix page, and based on the difference between provisions andrequirements, a custom-blended supplement may be formulated. (See CustomMix Module for more details in making a custom mix.)

Figure K — Professional Edition — Report Utilities

ReportsFigure K provides a view of the area in the Cow Module-Professional Edition where anumber of reports can be generated. Reports in the Standard Edition involve selecting theappropriate tab at the bottom of the screen and then selecting the print function from theExcel menu. Many of the reports are similar between both editions.

Batch Mix SheetBatch Mix Sheet (TMR sheets) — Report provides a TMR batch sheet printout that canbe in terms of animal numbers or batch weight. Select the type of printout you would liketo see and then select those feeds, if any, that would not be going into the mixer wagon.These feeds can be checked in the column to the right of the boxes indicating the poundsof each to be fed.

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• To exclude a feed from a TMR batch sheet, clear the associated “x” or “h” inthe TMR Mix column.

• To hold a feed steady while allowing others to vary according to batch weight,type an “h” into the TMR Mix column across from the appropriate feed.

• For a batch based on head count, provide a value of “2” for twice-a-dayfeeding, a value of “1” for everyday feeding,“0.5” to indicate every-other-dayfeeding or 0.33 for every-third-day feeding.

Formulation PrintoutsRation Summary

Summary report will match inputs provided on Input section of screen.

Ration Summary — Lists feeds provided and amounts provided on an as-fedbasis per head per day. The amount delivered and amount consumed shown at thebottom of the list represent the difference between feed delivered and feedconsumed.

Balance Dry Matter Intake — Actual feed inputs correlate to the Mature Cow columnwhen the user chooses to scale the intake.

Estimated DMI — Means dry matter intake that is estimated for a given animalbased on NRC guidelines.

Consumption — Means the actual dry matter intake is presented as a percent of the estimated DMI.

Net Energy Requirement — The percent of the total energy requirementsatisfied by the diet.

Metab. Protein Requirement (MP) — The percent of the total metabolizableprotein requirement of the animal satisfied by the diet.

Degradable Protein Requirement (DIP) — The percentage of the degradable

protein/nitrogen that is required to be supplied directly by diet . When results areless than 1 (100 %), refer to the MP requirement. If MP is less than 100%, thenmore protein is required, and the type of protein should preferably be degradablein this case. If MP is 100% or more, no more protein is required since nitrogenrecycling is supplying the DIP shortage.

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Regarding DIP and MP, in a perfect world, we would target this for100% in each category. This would optimize the crude protein use from the diet. Whenthis isn’t practical or possible due to protein sources, be sure that the MP level hits 100.What happens when the DIP is less than 100 is that it takes more crude protein to meetthe MP requirement. In a high corn finishing ration, as is typical in Iowa, we generally end

up with less than 100% DIP in the final ration because of all of the corn and cornbyproducts being used, but we end up using more crude protein in the diet to reach theMP=100. Some individuals will recommend meeting DIP at all costs. Sometimes, this isfor N-pollution control, but more likely, this is from a rate of fermentation viewpoint.This especially is the case when a carbohydrate source that is more rapidly fermentable(wheat, steam-flaked grain or potato waste) is being used. Corn, along with whole orlightly processed grains, ferment slower and generally provide adequate time for theexcess UIP breakdown with N-recycling to cover the initial DIP shortfall.

Add … — This line in the Professional Edition states the pounds of the selectedprimary supplemental energy source that are required to supply the necessary NE

to satisfy the remaining energy requirement of the animal. If the diet is adequatein energy, nothing will appear here.

Calcium rqmt — The percentage of the calcium requirement satisfied by thediet.

Phosphorus rqmt — The percentage of the phosphorus requirement satisfied bythe diet.

Projected Performance30 day BCS change — The body condition score change after 30 days on adiet. The 9-point system is being used in this program.

Desired ADG — The desired average daily gain. This desired value includesgain required for normal growth plus any gain required to increase the bodycondition score to a desired level.

Cow wt. Gain — The projected pounds per day of weight gain (excluding gut fill)based on ration inputs for the cow described above pregnancy.

Excess prot.-NE adj — The adjustment to the available net energy in the diet due

to the feeding of excess protein. A value such as .6, for instance, would indicate a.6 megacalorie loss of total dietary net energy. Total protein fed, proteindegradability, TDN and production all have impact on this value.

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Feed Cost Values — Feed cost is broken down on a per-head,per-day basis and a total-per-group basis in the Professional Edition.

Ration Statistics Dry Matter % — The dry matter percentage of a ration.

Crude protein — The percentage of crude protein of a ration.

Degradable CP — The percentage of crude protein in the diet that is rumendegradable.

CP solubility — The percentage of crude protein that is soluble. Urea is 100 %soluble. Dry hay is generally less than 25% soluble. This value reflects the rateat which protein goes into solution. Solubility has some influence on the rate of protein degradability and the overall extent of protein degradability, but note thatnot all soluble protein is rumen degradable.

NE m M/lb — Net energy of maintenance, megacalories per pound of dry matter

NE g M/lb — Net energy of gain, megacalories per pound of dry matter

TDN% — Total digestible nutrients, percent of dry matter.

NFC% — Nonfiber carbohydrate, percent of dry matter. A measure of starch,sugar, pectin, … This value reflects the concentrate or rapidly fermentablepercentage of a feed excluding protein, mineral and fat.

eNDF% — Effective neutral detergent fiber percent (chewable NDF) of the diet.

NDF — Neutral detergent fiber percent of the ration.

Salt, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Potassium, Sulfur — A chartcomparing pounds provided per head per day and pounds required per head perday is provided. This chart will not flag excessive levels. See the Feed Analysisor Mineral Printouts for this information.

Mineral & Vitamin Report — Professional EditionProvides a summary of current mineral requirements and provisions, along withsome mineral ratio guidelines.

Nutrient Graph — Professional Edition

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Illustrates the mineral provisions using the percent of therequirement satisfied.

Ration Adequacy — Professional EditionProvides the ration evaluation as it currently stands and then looks three

production phases ahead to evaluate how the current ration would stand up.Generally, changes in maintenance, milk and gestation are evaluated.

Ration Adequacy Graph — Professional EditionIllustrates the timeline report using protein and energy requirements versus the

stage of production.

Blend mix Sheet — Professional EditionUse to print out a mixing recipe of selected feedstuffs used in a ration. Feedslabeled “b” in the TMR column would be the ones included in the blend.

Feed AnalysisA three-page printout (two pages in the Standard Edition) breaking down thenutrient contribution of the ration ingredients.

Ration Plan — Professional EditionAllows the user to map out a feeding strategy over a period of time. Each printout shows up to three rations and quantities of feed required for the specifiednumber of head over the specified time. This report could be used to indicate thecow ration to be fed in the late fall, early winter and late winter, for instance, thusproviding not only feeding instructions, but feed requirements as well. Feedstorage waste also can be factored into this estimate. The feed waste estimateindicated in the Feed Requirement for Period area is the percentage of feedstorage loss used here. (See Figure L)

Feed Requirement for PeriodFeed Usage — Professional Edition

Gives an estimate of feed use for the current scenario balanced for above.(See Figure L)

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Figure L — Professional Edition — Feed Usage

Save, Restore and Delete Cow Rations/Scenarios

Professional Edition Follow the guidelines given when saving, restoring and deleting feeds. The name that youcan give a scenario, unlike the feed libraries, can be longer than 8 characters. Note thereis virtually no limit on the number of scenarios one can save. Cow rations will beidentified by the file extension *.woc, while feed libraries are identified with the *.iajextension. A ration and associated feed library can be e-mailed to other users of theProfessional BRaNDS program to evaluate a ration on their own computer.

BRaNDS 07 also maintains separate files of each producer’s rations. These files can becopied into other producer folders and used as well, but remember to include the feedlibrary if it is unique to the ration that was formulated. To copy these rations, open up theC:\BRaNDS folder and follow normal copy/paste Windows protocol.

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Remember, each time you go to the Settings page, the producer’s file is closedautomatically and needs to be reopened, which is done by selecting the producer’s namefrom the drop-down list.

Standard EditionSaving cow ration scenarios with the Standard Edition involves saving the entireworksheet as would be done with other Excel spreadsheet applications. For instance, if you make a winter ration for your first-calf heifers from the menu along the top of thescreen, select File - Save As - name the scenario such as firstcalf heifers03 , and theration you just worked on is saved as an independent worksheet that you can access atanother time. The difference is that the name is “ firstcalf heifers03 ” rather than “ Cow1.1, ” and the location that you choose to save the file may be different than the BRaNDS directory. So, remember where you put your files!

Detailed RequirementsTo the right of the Feed Requirement (scroll right) is a figure, as shown below, that detailsthe energy and metabolizable protein required for each of the various functions required of the animal. These details allow the user to determine what a deficiency in thesecomponents may mean in terms of compromised performance, as well as simply providinga clearer illustration of the basis for the requirements.

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Heifer Module

The Heifer Module operates in the same manner as the Cow Module. Read through theCow Module chapter before reading this chapter, since this chapter only deals with theaspects unique to the Heifer Module. Figure M below shows the input area of the HeiferModule — Professional Edition. The Standard Edition has similar inputs, but they arearranged in the Standard Edition format.

Figure M — Heifer Module — Professional Edition

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• As mentioned regarding the Cow Module, you can update and refine mature cow

size, weather data and calf birth weight on the Settings page. It also is possible tomodify the gestation days represented on reports in the Professional Edition. Thefirst trimester is reported at day 60, the second at day 155 and the third at day 240.Change these numbers if you wish.

• Current Live Weight, Target Weight Gain, Birthdate — These inputs work together in building the calendar and provide a note regarding minimum weightgain for the feeding period. The outputs listed in this area, weight at end of period and midpoint weight, also are derived from this information.

• Weight Spread — Professional Edition is also requested for baby calves and

growing animals. The weight spread is the number of pounds between the heaviestand lightest in a group. This allows for a more thorough ration evaluation acrossthe pen.

The reason for the midpoint weight output on this screen is to determine themidpoint weight for the feeding period. Once this midpoint weight is

determined, the ration can be rebalanced at this weight as a current weight in order tobetter estimate the feed use for the feeding period.

Heifers on a feedyard ration would be more accurately projected using theFeedyard Module.

Ration Evaluation

• The evaluation breaks down the given ration based on the production stage selected. The middle column corresponds with the feed intake values and

production stage directly. The Professional Edition also provides the left- andright-hand column to correspond with an earlier stage of production and a laterstage of production for bred heifers. Growing animals and baby calves showthe extremes of the weight spread between these two columns.

• A weight spread in the group breaks apart the feed balance area into the lowend, heavy end and average for the group of animals on feed.

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• Like the Cow Module, daily weight gain values are provided in suggested gain

and average daily gain. Desired ADG is the weight gain above pregnancy.The projected ADG is the probable gain based on actual feed intake abovepregnancy.

• Excess prot.-NE adj . — Like the cow module, the energy loss due to excessprotein metabolism is calculated. This value, however, is not calculated onbaby calves.

Save, Restore and Delete Heifer Rations / Scenarios

Professional EditionSee Cow Module guidelines.

Note that heifer rations will be identified by the file extension *.fqf.

The other areas of the Heifer Module are similar to the Cow Module. See the Printoutarea in the Cow section above to determine the meaning of outputs.

Breeding Bull Module

Inputs, Outputs, Printouts

See the Cow Module for a description on details regarding these issues.

Growing Bull Module

Inputs, Outputs, Printouts

The Growing Bull Module should be used for young sire development and feedlot bull-test rat ion formulation. This module has characteristics of both the Heifer Module and theFeedyard Module; consult these two areas for issues pertaining to the Growing BullModule.

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Feedyard Module

The Feedyard Module is designed for cattle placed on high-energy diets with a terminal-end point goal.

Quick Start — Select Quick Start 4 (voice tutorial) from BRaNDS directory formore help.

1. Refer to Settings and Feed Library Quick Start steps.2. Provide a Series/Pen name (see details in Feedyard Operation details). A

series can have one or more rations.3. Provide/update the inputs. (See Figures N)4. Move to Ration Balancing section of screen.5. Indicate the ration number in the series (1 = 1 st ration fed, 2 = 2 nd ration

fed, etc.)

6. Indicate the name of the ration fed (if the ration already was entered andsaved, select it from the list followed by the “Recall” button).7. Indicate how long you plan to feed the ration — indicate the date or

weight of the animal.8. Scroll down and formulate the ration. The “Formulate” button can be

pressed to formulate the ration in a least-cost manner (ProfessionalEdition) or amounts of feeds may be typed in directly.

9. Review ration statistics and choose the “Save/Next” button to save theration. This will advance the ration number automatically. (See step 5)

10. If you need to redo the ration just entered, be sure to put the rationnumber back to the number associated with the ration you will redo. The

tan list box in the Inputs area above shows the rations + number savedfor the Pen/Series.

11. Before putting in the next ration of the series, go to the input area aboveand update the current weight and hair coat details if necessary. Then,return to the balancing section to enter the next ration as done for theprevious ration.

Feedyard Details of Operation

The above steps describe the Professional Edition. By putting in the series of rationsunder a given Pen/Series name, a projection also can be generated to along with theregular reports involved in balancing a ration. Feedyard series names are stored as filesending as *.fyd. Feedyard rations named and saved end in the letters *.fyr. The FeedyardModule of the Standard Edition is shown in the following Figure O. It, like the otherBRaNDS Standard Editions, is set up as a ration evaluator for a given time and animal,similar to the former ISU Feedyard Ration Evaluation MCS 7 spreadsheet.

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Figure N — Feedyard Module — Professional Edition

Pen/Series Name — Unlike the other modules, the Feedyard Module (and StockerModule) is set up with a two-part file structure. Each pen of cattle can be set up with aseries name. A series can be composed of one or more rations. The series is saved whenthe first ration that is listed under the series is saved.

Ration Name — When rations are entered and saved in the Ration Balancing section of the module, the name of the ration — as well as the order it was added/fed — appears inthis list. To recall both the ration and inputs associated with the ration, provide thenumber in the white box above the list’s number column and select the “Restore” button


File Utilities — Restore & Delete — These buttons allow for restoring saved seriesinformation and deleting an entire series. When using these buttons, select the series fromthe list above, then select the button. When restoring, if no particular ration number/stepin the series is specified, the first will be shown.

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Figure O — Feedyard Module — Standard Edition


Inputs follow the same meanings as those used for the other modules apart from thefollowing cases.

Feeding Period — Start — Only the first day in the feeding period is asked for. Weatherdata is used based on the month in this date. In the case of projections, the weather dataautomatically will be taken from your weather data summary on the “Settings” page basedon the day in the projection.

Weight @ 50% Choice — There is a box with a “?” label that can be used to arrive atthis value since age, gender and implant will have bearing on it. For catt le started on feedas mature cows or bulls, use the mature weight at a condition score 5 for this value. Thisweight would probably be lighter than the slaughter weight. The probable weights at 50%choice in the Standard Edition are listed at the bottom of the Settings page.

Facility — Essentially, this is the same as wind exposure in the other modules.

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Hide thickness — The other modules calculate this automatically based on breed type.Brahman X cattle and dairy cattle are calculated as thin hides for the other modules.Feedyard cattle that are moved from distant locations may have some adaptation issues to

contend with — for instance, cattle that are being moved from Florida to Iowa in the fall.Therefore, it may be advantageous to indicate cattle that are moving from a warm to coldclimate as “thin hide,” (the program will calculate higher maintenance requirements then)or cattle moving from a cold to warm climate as “thick hide.”

Implant — If these additives are used, check the box. The implant will have an effect onthe feed intake estimation (increases DMI estimation). Consult the help box labeled as “?”to adjust for the impact implants have on Wt @ 50% Choice.

Ractopamine (ractopamine hydrochloride) — A feed additive that should be approvedand released for beef cattle in 2004. It will increase the weight at 50% choice by 4% andis calculated automatically, if checked, during the last two months on feed.

MGA — Effect is calculated as a 6% increase in the rate of gain on heifers.

If you are using additives, such as MGA, Optaflexx, antibiotics, etc., use the“open” columns in your Feed Library to indicate their use and levels in supplements.

Ration Balancing

Figure P shows the Ration Balancing portion of the Standard Edition Feedyard Module.Apart from the results expressed in terms of allowed weight gain from protein or energy, itclosely resembles the other Standard Modules. The Professional Edition does differ fromthe Standard Edition in this area and is shown in Figure Q.

ReportsStandard EditionSelect the Summary, Batch or Analysis tabs at the bottom of the sheet to see printouts forStandard Edition. Then, select the printer icon from the Excel menu to print the page.

Professional EditionSee the Cow Module for a description of the details regarding reports other than theProjection Report.

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Figure P —Ration Balancing — Standard Edition


A. Number of head the amounts of feed provided are being balanced for.

B. Provide the number of the feed to be used here. (Get number from Feed Library.)

C. Provide the pounds of each feed here on an as-fed basis.

D. Indicate the percent of feed waste here. (Indicate 2% as a 2.)

E. Indicate if provided in a TMR mix batch sheet. “1” = include, “0” = exclude, “2” =hold level constant across weights in mixer.

F. Mineral summary information. Details in terms of actual amounts may be seen byscrolling to the right.

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Figure Q (top) — Ration Balancing Screen — Professional EditionA B C D E F G H I J K

A. Indicate whether the ration will be fed until a given weight or a given date.

B. Indicate the name of the ration or select the ration you wish to use from the list. If using a ration that you already saved and is on list, select the ration and select the “Recall”button.

C. Indicate the order that the ration will be fed in the series. The number will correspondwith the number above labeled as Record in Series.

D. The “Save/Next” button will save the ration to a series and will allow other rations to

be added.

E. “Recall” and “Delete” buttons recall or delete a ration based on the name of the rationdescribed in B.

F. “Formulate” button will calculate a least-cost per pound gain ration based on feedsselected, consumption ratio and eNDF fiber specifications.

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G . The “/\” button will increase the amount of feed pounds by 2%.The “\/” button will decrease the amount of feed pounds by 2%.The “ %” button will convert feeds entered from a percent into pounds.

H . The Body Weight area shows the average weight per head in the pen that the ration isbalanced for, as well as the weight spread between the smallest and heaviest animals andhow the ration performs for these outside limits.

I. Intake — Actual dry matter intake appears based on ration formulation over estimatedintake based on NRC estimation equations. The percentage of actual intake relative to theestimated intake is the consumption ratio. Always use actual intakes for balancing if theyare known. If they are not, use the estimated intake as a guideline.

J . ADG is based on the smaller of these two values: energy or protein. When energy isgreater than protein, the MP requirement will be less than 100. Although not alwayspossible, the goal is to match energy and protein gain values. “DIP ratio” is the value thatindicates how well degradable intake protein matches rumen available energy intake.When the MP is less than 100 and the DIP is less than 1, a degradable protein sourceshould be provided.

K . “Open ” is a term that fills unused columns in the feed library and will appear onreports as such. Use these open columns for additives; for instance, if an antibiotic is inthe feed, type the name and amount in the feed library and this name and the concentrationwill appear on the reports.

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H. DMI:Wt is the dry matter intake expressed as a percentage of live weight.

I. DMI:ADG is feed to gain on a dry-matter basis. On the ration summary sheet, this

value would not include feed waste or feed fed to catt le that died or were removed. Onthe projection printout, the effect that dead cattle would have is included.

J. Maintenance rat io is the calculated maintenance energy requirement divided by the basemaintenance requirement for a beef type steer. Weather, breed type, gender, feed intakeand environment will impact this value.

K. Nutrient statistics are nutrient quantities supplied to an animal by a ration, as well asexcretion estimates.

Projection Report

A projection can be generated for a lot and printed. On this report, it asks for an estimatefor death loss, interest rate, cattle value per head, yardage and sale price. A feedingsummary is generated based on the initial inputs and the series of rations described. Theeffect of death loss is calculated as such:

1. There is no rounding to the nearest whole animal, but it will work with a percentsince this is only a projection based on feedyard historical data.

2. Feed use and total cost information is calculated for the whole lot halfway through

the projection and on the projected living animals only for the remainder.3. Total animal and other charges are figured up front.

Interest is calculated on half the feed, half the yardage and the total cattle value.

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Stocker Module

The Stocker Module is designed for young, growing cattle placed on high forage/grazingdiets (Professional Edition). The Stocker Module is set up in a similar manner to theFeedyard Module. Read through the operation of the Feedyard Module before readingthis section. Stocker series files end in the letters *.stk. Stocker rations are stored withthe *.skr file extension.

Quick Start1. Refer to Settings and Feed Library Quick Start steps. BE SURE TO

NUMBER THE PASTURE AS FEEDSTUFF #1 IN THE FEEDLIBRARY. Other feeds/supplements, if fed, should be numbered afterthe pasture.

2. Provide a Series/Pen. A series can have one or more rations.

3. Provide/update the inputs. (See Figure R)4. Move to the Ration Balancing section of screen.5. Indicate the ration number in the series (1 = first ration fed, 2 = second

ration fed, etc.)6. Indicate the name of the ration fed. If the ration was already entered and

saved, select it from the list followed by the “Recall” button.7. Indicate how long you plan to feed the ration — indicate the date the

animal will be moved to a different ration.8. Scroll down and formulate the ration. The “Formulate” button can be

pressed to formulate the ration in a least-cost manner (ProfessionalEdition) or amounts of feeds can be typed in directly.

9. Review ration statistics and choose the “Save/Next” button to save theration. This will advance the ration number automatically (see step 5).

10. If you need to redo the ration just entered, be sure to put the rationnumber back to the number associated with the ration you will redo. Thetan list box in the Inputs area above shows the rations + number savedfor the Pen/Series.

11. Before putting in the next ration of the series, go to the input area aboveand update the current weight and hair coat details if necessary. Then,return to the balancing section to put in the next ration as done for theprevious ration.

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Stocker Details of Operation

The Stocker Module operates in a manner similar to the Feedyard Module. There are anumber of slight differences regarding inputs and outputs, though. Refer to Figures R, Sand T for the details on these differences.

Figure R — Stocker Module — Professional Edition


A. Frame size — Instead of the Weight @ 50% Choice input an approximate animalframe score is to be provided. The caption-comment will provide the yearlingheight to frame size correlation.

B. The Stocker Module uses the Series concept as the Feedyard Module. Thus agroup of cattle are given a Series name and to this series, rations are saved andprojections can be generated.

C. Rainfall is factored into the projection since it has an impact on pastureproductivity. Normal rainfall is described on the Settings page.

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Figure S — Stocker Module — Professional Edition



A. The ration number and ration name concept is the same as the Feedyard Module.

B. Only a date can be used to indicate the end of a ration feeding period. TheFeedyard Module allows either a weight or date.

C. Current pasture yield in terms of tons of dry matter per acre is required for cattlegrowth projection. (Current amount of vegetation present per acre DM basis.)

D. Typical pasture productivity in terms of dry matter produced per year. This is thetotal amount (grazed + trampled). Determine from harvested hay ground.

E. Animal Unit Days per acre — Similar as head days per acre, but adjusted to aconstant live body weight of 1200 pounds.

F. Pasture Type category allows for modifications to the plant growth curve based onair temperature changes.

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G. Feedstuffs are transferred to the sheet as they are in all other modules. Be sure tonumber the pasture feedstuff as number “1” from the Feed Library.

H. Based on headcount and pasture provisions, a “pull” date is calculated, along withan animal’s weight at this date.

I. Pasture area is the number of acres that cattle will be given access to for thecurrent ration scenario.

J. Months allowed for growth is the time measured in months over which the typicalpasture productivity is estimated to be over.

K. All other outputs match those of the Feedyard Module.

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forage disappearance estimate. The “pull” date is based on the first depression infeed intake due to reduced forage availability.

E. Forage use percent. A value of 55 indicates 55% of available forage is grazed,

45% would be lost to trampling. Rotated pastures can increase this value by 10-20%.

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Custom Mix

Custom batch sheets can be assembled manually or automatically by a least-cost

formulation. This module can be used after putting together a base ration on the Cow,Heifer, Feedyard, Stocker or Bull module to formulate a supplement. Custom mixedsupplements are saved with the *.xim extension. (Professional Module only)

Quick Start1. Formulate the base diet balancing for protein and energy proper to DMI.2. Save the ration (do this now in order to preserve what was accomplished

up to this point).3. Refer to Figure U. Select the button that says “Formulate Custom

Supplement” at the bottom of the Ration Composition screen. This willtransfer data associated with the animal’s diet to the Custom Mix module.

Figure U

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Figure V — Custom Mix Module — Professional Edition

feeds selected from library nutrients provided in diet already screen split tabs

4. Next, go to the feed library and select the library you want to use formaking the supplement. Note that this does not need to be the same librarythat was used for the original ration.

5. Select the feeds from the library by numbering them in the order you wishto see them displayed on a paper printout; then select the “Custom Mix”button.

6. Note that feeds are listed on the Custom Mix screen; the amount providedalready from the diet is listed along the top, and the amount required of theselected nutrients is listed below this on a per-head basis.

7. Balance the ration now to provide adequate levels of the nutrients byindicating the pounds or fraction of a pound of the given feedstuff needed.This may be done manually by typing in the amounts of each ingredient orautomatically by selecting the “Calculate” button.

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8. Since there are many items that do not fit on the screen, you may wish to

split the screen by dragging the split screen tabs into position with yourmouse as shown below. (See figure W — split screen)

9. As feed is added, the rows along the bottom will indicate if the current

level is short or in excess.10. Generally, provide enough of the feedstuff that the nutrient is not short

and slightly in excess. In most cases, it is advisable to keep the excessclose to zero.

11. If you need only to make a custom mix, and do not need to be concernedwith the ration of a given animal, follow the steps listed here starting atstep number 3. Note that the concentration of a given nutrient in the mixwill be listed in the first row under the feed/amount provided area. Theactual quantity of the nutrient will be below this row.

12. Printouts of the mix recipe can then be done with the option to include ornot include a price and analysis on the sheet.

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Figure W – Custom Mix Screen – Split Screen

amount short amount in excess concentration in mix

limit of excess status based on excess/limit amount provided by mix

Steps to Make a Supplement — Review

1. Assemble the base ration on the appropriate Cow, Heifer, etc., page and SAVEthe ration.

2. Select the “ FORMULATE CUSTOM SUPPLEMENT” button. Theprovisions and remaining requirements will be transferred to the CUSTOM MIX


3. Go to the FEED LIBRARY . Select the feed library that you will use toformulate the supplement and RESTORE .

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4. Choose (number) the most likely feeds from the library to use in the supplement.It is best to number feeds in the manner where all those ingredients that tend to beused in the smallest quantities are chosen first or last.

5. Remember to include carriers, mixing oils or flavors if used when numberingfeeds.

6. Select the “CUSTOM MIX” button from the FEED LIBRARY to transfer thefeed and analysis to the CUSTOM MIX screen.

7. On the CUSTOM MIX screen, select the CALCULATE button. This is a least-cost formulator and will give you an estimate of the quantities for each ingredientto use on a per-head basis.

Note that if you wish to ignore balancing for a specific nutrient on theCustom Mix page, in the Requirement row, delete the quantity noted as required.

8. Check work. Notice the rows that indicate AMOUNT DEFICIENT, AMOUNTEXCESS, LIMIT, and STATUS. Manually fine tune the calculated amountsabove to address any issues occurring here. Generally, you will want to have alittle excess in each category.

9. Now manually fill in the amounts of carrier, mixing oil or other additive that wouldhave been omitted in the least-cost calculation.

10. Name the supplement and select SAVE .

11. Go to the FEED LIBRARY and RESTORE the feed library that you want toplace the supplement in.

12. On the line in the restored feed library that you want the supplement to appear,type the number “100’”. Then go back to the CUSTOM MIX screen and selectthe “ TRANSFER” button. If you go to this restored feed library, you will seethat the analysis for the supplement has been transferred. SAVE this feed library

now. You can repeat steps 10 and 11 to place this supplement in other feedlibraries.

13. Now go back to the original base ration that you assembled and select the“RESTORE” button. This will restore the inputs and base ration, in addition torenumbering the correct feeds in the FEED LIBRARY .

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14. In the FEED LIBRARY , number the supplement now, as well and hit the

appropriate transfer button.

15. Provide the amount of supplement that needs to be fed and re- SAVE the ration.

Occasionally, there may be some slight rounding error and an indication of anutrient may still be low. This can occur when a mineral requirement is based on a level of feed intake or if the supplement contains protein that when provided boasts weight gainsignificantly. Scroll to the right toward the NUTRIENT ANALYSIS display to see howfar off the nutrient is from the desired quantity. In many cases, the difference is smallenough to ignore. If it is not, go to the CUSTOM MIX page and recall the supplementto make the adjustments. Next, follow the steps previously outlined to save and bring thisinto the ration.

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Metabolizable Protein

Feed / Rumen Yield

MP feed(CPI - DIP) x 0.80

CPI = grams crude protein intake

DIP = grams rumen degradable crude protein (degradable intake protein)

MP microbe

MCP x .64

MCP = microbial crude protein (smallest of following 2 values ) MCPTDNMEFF x gTDN x NDFEadj

MEFF = microbial efficiencyIf TDN>=64 MEFF = 0.13Else MEFF = (0.29 x TDN - 5.9) x 0.01

gTDN = grams total digestible nutrient intake

TDN = percent total digestible nutrient

NDFEadj = adjustment if inadequate neutral detergent fiberIF NDFe>20 NDFEadj = 1

Else NDFEadj = (1 - ((20 - NDFe) x 0.022)))

NDF = percent effective NDF


DIP ratio = DIP adequacy analysis

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Recycled N121.7 – 12.01xpCP + 0.3235 x pCP^2

pCP = percent crude protein

If DIP ratio < 1 and recyled N is not limiting MP feed is reduced to supply DIP as:MP feed – dDIP , MCPTDN is then used to calculate MP microbe. Total MP is thenrecalculated.

dDIP = deficient DIP


MP maintenance

3.8 x WT^0.75

WT = shrunk body weight

MP pregnancy

((DP x (0.001669 - 0.00000211 x CBW) x 2.71828182845904^((0.0278 - 0.0000176 x

DP) x DP)) x 6.25) / 0.65)

DP = days pregnant

CBW = calf birth weight (kg)

MP milk(MWT x 0.035) / 0.65 x 1000

MWT = milk weight per day (kg) – see breed info (Cow Module) on default milk weights.

MP growth[RG x (268-(29.4 x (RE / RG)))] / 0.492

RG = required body gain (kg/day)

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Calculated automatically with cow and breeding bull module based onmature size. This value can be over-ridden with growing heifer and bull modules.

RE = retained energy (Mcal)0.0635 x EQE^0.75 x (0.956 x RG)^1.097

EQE = equivalent body weight0.891 x [WT x (SRT / FWT)]

SRT = 478

FWT = mature shrunk weight (kg)

MP reserves

* Note that the MP requirement for body reserves is not as easy to base on a visualappraisal of an animal as the MP requirement for the other topics just addressed.Therefore, when adding body condition, formulate diet DIP to follow diet TDN levels toensure adequate protein for body reserves.

Baby Calf Maintenance – (crude protein)[6.25 x (((1/0.75) x (0.2 x (WT^0.75) + DMI x 3 )) - DMI x 3)] / 0.8

Growth – (crude protein)[ADG x (187.5 / 0.7)] / 0.8

Net Energy


NE maintenance[WT^0.75 x ((0.077 x BT x LAC x G x COMP) + PT)] x RES x ION

BT = breed type (values range 0.95 to 1.2)

LAC = lactation (yes = 1.2, no = 1.0)

G = gender of animal (1.0 = females, and castrated males, 1.15 = males)

COMP = growth compensation.8 + (cBCS – 1) x 0.05

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cBCS = current body condition score ( 1 to 9 system)

RES = respiration rate adjustment for heat/pneumonia (1.05 for mild stress, 1.12 forstress)

ION = adjustment for ionophore in growing animal diet (0.893)

NE cold stress(0.09 x (WT x 0.96)^0.67) x (LCT - AT) / INS x kM

LCT = lower critical temperature39 – (INS x HE x 0.85)

HE = ration heat

(MEI - REg) / (0.09 x (WT x 0.96)^0.67)

MEI = metabolizable energy intake

REg = energy remaining for weight gain after maintenance

AT = average air temperature (degrees Celcius)

INS = insulating properties of coatMature animal = 5.25 + (0.75 x BCS) + EIYearling = (5.1875 + 0.3125 x BCS) + EICalves = 6.5 x EI

BCS = body condition score (1 through 9 system)

EI = external insulating value(7.36-0.296 x WD + 2.55 x HT) x HC x HD

WD = effective wind speed (KM / hr)

HT = hair thickness(summer = 0.5, transition = 0.8, winter = 1.27, heavy winter = 2.0)

HC = hair condition(clean/dry = 1, mud = .8, matted = .5)

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HD = hide thickness (thin = .8, average = 1.0, thick = 1.2) —breed dependant.

NE pregnancy

CBW x kM / 0.13 x (0.05855 - 0.0000996 x DP) x 2.71828182845904^((0.03233-0.0000275 x DP) x DP)) x 0.001)

NE milk(0.092 x 4 + (0.049 x 8.3) - 0.0569) x MWT x MWTadj

MWTadj = milk weight adjustment(1.0 = mature cow, 0.88 = 2 nd calf cow, 0.74 = 1 st calf cow)

NE growth

(RG / (13.91 x (WT x SRT / FWT)^-0.6837))^1.096972356

NE body reserves

1 body condition score point (BCSP)FWT x 0.067

Mcal NE per body condition score point (TEP)207 / 500 x FWT

Mcal per kg of body condition weightTEP / BCSP1 Mcal NE m from feed= 1 Mcal NE m for retained energy1 Mcal NE m retained energy = 0.8 Mcal NE m for mobilization

Excess Protein-NE adjustment (Urea Cost)[ {(DIP x .72 ^ IR - TDNMCP) / 6.25 -Recycled N } x .0133] + [(MPp - MPr ) / 6.25 x.0113]

DIP = total degradable intake protein ****

IR = intake ratio = actual intake/estimated ****

TDNMCP = microbial crude protein produced based on TDN intake ****

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**** kA, kB1, kB2, kB3, C fractions on the feedstuffs as the Cornell program requiresfor this step to arrive at peptideNH3 balance. What is done is an adjustment for rate of passage. DIP would be total degradable protein possible, so if intake is normal, I use .72times this value to reduce total degradation down somewhat if rate of passage normal

(comparable to the concept of adjusting NE values based on 2x or 3x maintenanceintake). If passage is slowed or increased, I adjust the .72 value down or up using theintake ratio. Therefore lower intake-slower rate of passage-more extensive rumendegradation.

Recycled N = recycled N equation

MPp = Met protein provided by diet

MPr = Met protein required by animal

Baby Calf MaintenanceWT^0.75 x 0.086 x TFAC

TFAC = temperature factor(less than 2 months old) (over 2 months old)AT > 15 = 1 AT > 5 = 1AT 10 - 15 = 1.13 AT 0 - 5 = 1.13AT 5 – 10 =1.27 AT -5 – 0 =1.27AT 0 – 5 = 1.4 AT -10 – -5 = 1.4AT –5 – 0 = 1.54 AT –15 – -10 = 1.54AT –10- -5 = 1.68 AT –20- -15 = 1.68AT –20 - -10 = 1.9 AT –30 - -20 = 1.8AT < -20 = 2.3 AT < -30 = 2.0

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Growth10^(LN(ADG) / 0.833) - LOG(1.19 / (0.69 x WT^0.338)))

LN = natural log or e

LOG = logarithm, base 10

Minerals & Vitamins

Calcium (grams) Maintenance0.0154 x WT / 0.5

Pregnancy (last 90 days)CBW x (13.7 / 90) / 0.5

LactationMWT x 1.23 / 0.5

GrowthRPN x 0.071 / 0.5

RPN = grams retained protein (MP growth)

Reserves5 grams

Baby calf 0.65% of diet

Phosphorus (grams) Maintenance0.016 x WT / 0.68

Pregnancy (last 90 days)CBW x (7.6 / 90) / 0.68


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MWT x 0.95 / 0.68

GrowthRPN x 0.045 / 0.68

Reserves2 grams

Baby calf

0.42% of diet

Other mineral and vitamin requirements are based on a percentage of feed intake and aredisplayed on mineral printouts contained in the program.

Feed Intake

DMI estimation — growing cattle (kg)(WT^0.75 x (((0.2435 x NEm) - (0.0466 x NEm^2) - SF) / NEmadj)) x TA x HCT x Padj* Badj

DMI estimation — 2 years and beyond(((WT^0.75 x (0.04997 x NEmadj^2 + 0.0384) / NEmadj) TA x HC + 0.2 x MWT)) xHCT x Badj

SF = age factor(Yearling or younger = 0.1128, older than 12 months = 0.0869)

NEmadj =net energy for maintenance concentration adjustment(NE m < 1 = 0.95, NE m >= 1 = NE m)

TA = temperature – intake adjustmentAT > 25 = 0.9AT 15 - 25 = 1

AT 5 – 15 = 1.03AT –5 – 5 = 1.05AT –15 - -5 = 1.07AT < -15 = 1.16

Padj = pregnancy adjustment(if DP > 210 then 1 + ((210 - DP) x 0.0025)

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Madj = milk production adjustmentMWT x 0.2

Badj = breed adjustment for intake(1.08 = very high milk, 1.04 = exotic high milk or club cow, otherwise = 1)

HCT = 1 for clean conditions, .85 for muddy yard, and .75 for very muddy yard.

Adjustment to DMI with low protein diet (use with diets below 7.5% crude protein)

PBWT = .36 x CP

PBWT = DMI as a percent of body weight.

DMI Estimate for Stocker Module(Adapted from K.C. Olson’s “Forage Intake by Grazing Livestock” PowerPoint


DMI as % of body weight = (3.47 – (.02 x NDF%) ) + FDA + PA

Fiber Digestibility Adjustment (FDA) — Used to adjust for less digestible fiber source

If ADF / NDF > .65 then FDA = (.65 – ADF / NDF) x 4Otherwise FDA = 0

Protein Adjustment (PA) — Used to adjust for lower levels of degradable intake protein(DIP). UIP = undegradable intake protein.

If ration DIP% > or = 12% then PA = 0Otherwise:

If UIP% > 4% then UIPA = (UIP % - 4%) x 0.5Otherwise UIPA = 0

[(UIPA + DIP%) – 12 ] x .02


ME to NE or kMtNEm / (tTDN x 4.4 x 0.82)

tNEm = Mcal of net energy maintenance in diet

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tTDN = kg of total digestible nutrients in diet

TDN% to NE m (Mcal/kg)(0.0495 x TDN) - (0.0001804 x TDN^2) + (0.000000496 x TDN^3) - 1.12

TDN% to NE g (Mcal/kg)(0.05138 x TDN) - (0.000227 x TDN^2) + (0.000000576 x TDN^3) - 1.65

ADF% to TDN%A + (B x ADF)

Feedstuff A B- -

Legume 98.65 -1.069Mixed forage 102.56 -1.14Grasses 102.33 -1.113Corn silage <40% DM 86.84 -0.658Corn silage >40% DM 80.84 -0.658Small grain silage 76.16 -0.309Forage/grain mix 93.53 -1.03Ear corn 99.72 -1.927Shelled corn 92.22 -1.535Small grains 88.09 -0.712

[Crude protein + Ether extract + Crude fiber + Nitrogen free extract] to TDN%(0.0504 x CP + 0.077 x EE + 0.02 x CF + 0.000377 x NFE^2 + 0.011 x NFE -0.152) / 0.0441

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Example and Explanations

The following example is done using the Heifer Module from the Professional Edition.Although there are differences between modules and editions regarding inputs andoutputs, there are some general guidelines that apply to all variations on this program.

Below is an example of inputs that have been provided for a group of weaned heifercalves. Note that the feeding period is listed as Oct. 1 through November. The feedingperiod could be any length you want. However, as feed, weather or stage of productionchange, there is obviously going to be a change in diet requirements. Therefore, it is wiseto retrieve and re-evaluate the last ration that you formulated each time common sensewould recognize a change. The following example recognizes that these just-weanedspring calves are now in a feedyard during the fall. In two months, the season will changeto winter and whether these animals will be kept back as replacements, sold or fed out will

probably be a little clearer. The diet can be re-formulated at that time.

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The Professional Edition also gives you the opportunity to look at a group of animals overa range of age (Cow and Breeding Bull Modules), or weight as the growing animalmodule shows above. The basis of the weight range is the weight spread, which is thedifference between the heaviest and lightest in the group (an estimate may work well if you do not have exact numbers). Generally, it is the animals with the greatest requirementin the group that you need to balance for. It is your call to then determine if it is advisableto break the group and manage them separately.

The values of the Ration Composition correlate with the middle column for the growinganimal in the Ration Evaluation . The values of the Ration Composition would alignthemselves with the mature animal in the Cow and Breeding Bull Module when intake isscaled. The check boxes at the bottom of the Ration Evaluation screen allow you to limitor increase the view of the ration as it is being balanced.

The individual items described in the Balance are explained by the associated commentboxes (indicated by the red flag in the corner). If you do not see the comment box, refer

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to the troubleshooting portion of this manual. Nutrient provisions are expressed as apercentage of the requirement. For instance, in the example above, the Net EnergyRequirement is at 98% for all the groups. The background calculations are as such:

Animal 445 lb. 520 lb. 595 lb.Mcal NE provided 6.344 7.119 7.895Mcal NE required* 6.493 7.296 8.071(NE maintenance) (4.351) (4.889) (5.407)(NE growth 1.25 lb/d)* (2.142) (2.407) (2.664)Result: 97.71% 97.57% 97.82%

*NE g is converted to equivalent NE m in the given ration to arrive at the total NE.

Tighter groups and intake estimates based on energy densities result in fairly littlevariation. Protein requirements are quite sensitive even with tight groupings, though. Theprimary protein value to concern yourself with when balancing is the metabolizable proteinpercent. This MP requirement deals directly with the animal’s protein requirement. Thedegradable protein value relates to the rumen microflora’s requirement for N. This valuedoes have merit when troubleshooting performance since a lack of rumen degradableprotein impairs digestion. Likewise, an excess can impair performance in terms of lostenergy or in worse cases, ammonia toxicity.

There is a fair amount of tolerance with this degradable protein value when formulating.Situations indicating a lack of degradable protein may be overcome within the animal bynitrogen-recycling mechanisms. Excessive levels can be excreted. The equations, which

explain these instances, are provided in the Equations section of this appendix. Anadjustment to available net energy occurs when these levels, along with MP, becomeoverly excessive. The extent of this energy adjustment is displayed as the Excess prot.-

NE adj . This value is similar to the Urea Cost explained in the Cornell Model ; however,since the feeds being used are not described in the A, B1, B2, B3 and C fractions that theCornell Model requires, a conservative variation on this theme has been applied and is alsodescribed in the Equations section of this appendix.

Mineral nutrition also is included in all modules. The example shown above uses somedefault minerals for demonstration purposes only. Be sure to provide the analysis of theactual mineral that you are using. The mineral analysis of the other feeds in your feedlibrary apart from the macro minerals is limited primarily because if mineral nutrition is anissue, then you need to get an accurate evaluation of the feeds you are using.

From a practical standpoint, formulation generally follows the trend where after the macromineral contribution from the primary feeds is taken into account, the additional macrominerals required along with the vitamins and trace minerals are provided in a commercialmix. Natural sources do exist, even though they may not be listed in the

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library. Therefore, how one should proceed in terms of mineral supplementation isultimately up to the herdsman.

As you look at the printouts, note that the mineral evaluation printouts indicate the

suggested level; if the amount provided is low, the printout will indicate this. Likewise, anexcessive level also will be indicated with the word “ Warning ”. If the level you providemeets the requirement and is not too excessive, the printout will indicate this with “ OK ”.The illustration on the following page shows the mineral summary on the screen whileusing the program. Refer to this picture and the associated key for explanations. Thisscreen view of the calculations can be seen by scrolling to the right of the Rationcomposition/evaluation area.



A = Concentration of the nutrient in the selected feeds given in the order the feed wasplaced in the diet .

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Protein Calculation Explanation

A feed analysis test will provide a crude protein content and an adjusted crude protein

content value. The adjusted crude protein content, or available crude protein as it issometimes labeled, would be crude protein that is available in feed. Use the adjustedcrude protein value for ration balancing.

Adjusted crude protein is then divided into either rumen degradable protein or DIP (degradable intake protein), and rumen bypass protein, called UIP (undegradable intakeprotein). DIP is expressed as a percent of the feed’s crude protein content.

DIP and UIP fractions can vary within a given feed based on the rate of passage andoverall rumen function. Since a laboratory would not be able to provide prompt dataregarding these values, consult the values already listed in the feed library about whatvalue should be used. A DIP value, like effective NDF (eNDF), is necessary for theprogram to work, but a general approximation is all that is required.

UIP is then expressed in metabolizable protein (MP) as UIP x .8 ( MPf ).DIP is converted to microbial protein, and microbial protein when converted tometabolizable protein, in essence, is approximately DIP x .64 ( MPb ) if the dietary TDNintake is adequate.

For instance, consider a sample of hay.

First crop mixed grass alfalfa hay sampleAdjusted crude protein = 12.18% on an as-fed basis (84% DM)

14.5% on a 100% dry matter basis

Based on similar types of feeds in the feed library of the program DIP = 80%


11.9 lbs of hay would equal 10 lbs of dry matter.10 lbs of dry matter concerning this hay would yield:

14.5% x 10 = 1.45 lbs of crude protein

1.45 x 80% = 1.16 lbs of DIP1.45 x 20% = 0.29 lbs of UIP

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DIP requirement

The DIP requirement is based on the crude protein demand of the rumen microbes(mDIP ). A calculation describing this demand is as follows:

mDIP = Microbe efficiency x TDN consumed x effective fiber adjustment

Microbial efficiency= .13 if TDN% is 64 or greater.= [0.29 x TDN% - 5.9] x .01 if TDN% is less than 64%.

Effective fiber adjustment= 1.0 if eNDF% is 20 or greater.= 1 – {[20 – eNDF%] x .022} if eNDF% is less than 20%.

A comparison is made between the microbial DIP demand ( mDIP ) and the DIP in the feed(fDIP ). A ratio is displayed in the program calculated as fDIP / mDIP . An excess of fDIP is expressed as a percent greater than 100, a shortage would be less than 100.

A shortage of fDIP may be resolved to some extent through nitrogen recycling in theanimal. Nitrogen recycling is addressed in the following manner:

If mDIP is larger than fDIP then:

MPf – [mDIP – fDIP]

What occurs here is that MPf is reduced from pool. This portion of MPf , which isreduced, will factor in to the MPb fraction at the lower efficiency level now (multiplied by.64 rather than .8) when being converted to MP . The result in a diet is that when the DIP level is not matched, the overall protein requirement will increase.

There are some liberties taken with this approach currently, but the methodology is spelledout to provide a starting place for revision if necessary. The cow, heifer, and bull modulesaddress the recycling issue from the described adjustment to MPf . The Feedyard Moduledoes not follow the MPf adjustment in the calculation primarily because of the differencein diet and subsequent rumen function (or decrease in function due to rationcharacteristics).

Total MP available from the diet = MPf + MPb

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Excessive Protein Effect

Excess metabolizable protein and the effect this has on the energy requirement is describedby an equation modified from the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein Model. Theresults of excess protein based on this modified model work from the growing stageforward and on the lower concentrate diets. The concept, called the excess protein – NEadjustment ( PEa ), is described in the program as such:

{[f DIP intake x .72 IR ] – mDIP} x .16 - %CP recycled x .01 x CP intake / 6.25 } x .0133+ {[ MP provided by diet – MP required ] / 6.25 x .0113}

MP required is a function of growth, maintenance, pregnancy and lactation.

.72 IR is an adjustment made to allow for rate of passage and rumen degradation of crudeprotein

IR = dry matter intake/estimated dry matter intake

%CP recycled = 6% if CP% is greater than 20%, otherwise= {121.7 – [ 12.01 x CP%] + [ .3235 x CP% 2]} / 100

Summary:• Higher concentrate will reduce PEa • High MP intake will increase PEa • High fDIP intake will increase PEa in the case where mDIP is held

back due to diet• High quality forage generally will have a PEa , but they also contribute

enough energy that the net effect is still a positive gain.• PEa is decribed in Mcal of NE m .

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Inputs and their Effects

This section summarizes the effect inputs have on outputs in the program.

Additives — Optaplexx: will increase rate of gain by essentially increasing wt @ 50%choice during last months on feed. Implant: will increase feed intake estimate. This alsoeffects wt @ 50% choice, but this effect should already be indicated in the input boxasking for wt. @ 50% choice. MGA: melengestrol acetate increases rate of gain inheifers.

Average birth date — Used to provide suggested target rates of gain for heifers andgrowing bulls.

Breed type — Impacts maintenance requirement. Milk production, hide and air

temperature effects will factor in with the breed type.

Calf birth weight — Impacts pregnancy requirements for energy, protein and someminerals.

Current condition score — Has effect with feed utilization efficiency in satisfyingrequirements. This also has internal insulation implications when calculating themaintenance requirement during the cold.

Current weight — Impacts feed intake and growth potential when taken into contextwith the estimated mature size.

Desired condition score — Impacts the requirement for weight gain above normalgrowth.

Facility — Has the same effect as wind exposure. Impacts the external insulating value of the hide and, therefore, the overall maintenance.

Hair coat — Impacts the external insulating value of the hide and, therefore, themaintenance requirement. Bigger effect with thin, small cattle.

Hair condition — Impacts the external insulating value of the hide and, therefore, themaintenance requirement. Bigger effect with thin, small cattle.

Hide — Impacts the external insulating value of the hide and, therefore, the maintenancerequirement. Is somewhat breed dependant and is therefore calculated based on breedtype automatically, except with Feedyard Module where it is an input. It is kept as aninput with the Feedyard Module since this allows for an adjustment for acclimatizationwhen cattle are transported from warm to cold areas.

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Mature size — Directs the growth pattern, energy requirements, protein requirementsand feed intake estimations.

Production stage — Adjusts the nutrient requirements and feed intake estimations.

Target weight gain — Adjusts the nutrient requirements.

Temperature — Affects maintenance in context of the internal and external insulatingvalue of the hide.

Weight @ 50% Choice — Refers to the mature size and will direct the growth patternaccordingly.

Weight spread — The difference between upper and lower weights in a pen. Thisprovides the basis of the breakdown when viewing ration adequacy for a pen of growinganimals.

Wind exposure — Has the same effect as facility. Impacts the external insulating valueof the hide and, therefore, the overall maintenance.

Other References

Alberta Agr., Food and Rural Development. Winter Feeding of .

Boyles, S. Bull Nutrition and Management.

Lardy, G. et. al. 2003. Suggested Inputs and Guidelines for Use of the 1996 NRCModel