Usually there's really only one thing on a Holstein's mind or for that matter a Guernsey or Jersey, food. Bonnie Collins with Cornell Cooperative Extension says winter is the time to buy feed because the price is at it's lowest.

But do you need to buy it? Here's how to know.

1. How much feed do you have on hand? Bonnie suggests using one of these calculators to determine the amount of feed you have stored.

2. How much feed do you need? A cow eats 2 to 2.5 pounds of hay per day for each 100 pounds of body weight. If you use grain, one thought is 1 pound for every 3 lbs. of milk. Michigan State University has an inventory planner to help calculate with a variety of rations.

Calculating how feed you'll need now, has two benefits. Lower prices this time of the year and buying it now can offset any tax liabilities before the end of the year. Feed represents about 50% of production costs and of course has a huge impact on quality of milk. So tread lightly. Read more on feed inventory at CCE's website, at The Learning Store and at Hay and Forage Grower.


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