Extension Spotlight

Calculating winter hay needs


November 24, 2021

As fall begins, winter is not too far behind. Cattle producers are starting to decide how much hay will be needed to make it through the winter. Some basic calculations can be used to help determine an appropriate amount to have on hand.

First calculate the basic needs. According to research at the Iowa Beef Center, a basic calculation of daily dry matter (DM) intake is 2.25-2.5 percent of body weight per animal. In a herd with an average cow size of 1,200 pounds, the daily need calculates to approximately 30 pounds DM per day per cow (1,200 pounds x 2.5 percent = 30 pounds DM/day)....

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