Penn State dairy app keeps tabs on feed costs

Penn State dairy app keeps tabs on feed costs

THE Pennsylvania State University Extension dairy team announced that its DairyCents app, which already is in use on iPhones, is available for download on Android mobile devices, too.

"We've received quite a few requests for the Android-compatible version of DairyCents," said Virginia Ishler, one of the app's creators. "We're very excited to have this now available to reach even more users."

Launched via Apple's iTunes Store last August, the app features a number of tools to help dairy producers and nutritionists keep tabs on feed costs and track how a ration compares to the Penn State ingredient database.

Users are able to download feed prices for more than 40 of the 90 feed ingredients tracked by the dairy team.

The first of two key features of DairyCents is a standardized income over feed cost (IOFC) calculation. By entering a ZIP code, the app calculates IOFC based on the user's state-specific milk and alfalfa prices and corn and soybean meal prices based on the Chicago Board of Trade settlement.

Users can make IOFC calculations based on 65, 75 or 85 lb. of milk produced per cow per day, with results given in both per hundredweight and per cow. The app will graph the IOFC, feed cost and milk price dating back to January 2012.

Penn State said its dairy team has tracked IOFC for the university herd since 2004, with actual feed ingredients used measured against the monthly Penn State feed price list for the market prices of home-raised feeds, along with the purchase prices of other relevant commodities. Using the actual milk price, the team calculates milk income minus the feed cost to track IOFC per cow per day.

In addition to the income calculator, the DairyCents app allows users to compare their own purchased feed price to Penn State's feed price list, as well as to other users in the database who purchased the same feed. Users can track price trends over time using this second feature.

Volume:85 Issue:02

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