Feed: An investment, not a costFeed: An investment, not a cost
Using an AO-based prebiotic to increase feed utilization and enhance digestibility for added productivity in beef cattle.
June 1, 2023
Profitability in beef production is dependent upon output revenue exceeding input costs. Elevated calf prices have pushed gross returns, yet profit margins have shrunk due to the rising cost of production. A general rule of thumb is that at least 60% of operational expenses are associated with feed in a normal year. Considering price hikes due to drought, inflation and limited supply, this guideline could severely underestimate current annual expenses.
Often, producers look at output potential as an investment through genetics because many have spent generations building their existing herds. Conversely, they may view feed as a cost. Investment opportunities in feed do exist, however, and come from many different feed additive technologies such as ionophores, probiotics, and prebiotics. Each of these has its own mode of action related to a desired outcome and not all are universal in their applications.
AO-Biotics® Amaferm® is a prebiotic resulting from the proprietary fermentation of Aspergillus oryzae (AO) that is research-proven to enhance digestibility. Amaferm works by stimulating fibrolytic and amylolytic bacteria, as well as increasing fungal branching and enzymatic activity in the rumen. These microbes work synergistically to break down feed, allowing for greater digestibility. The result is an increase in total tract digestibility and 17% more fiber digestibility across a variety of forages. Thinking about Amaferm as an investment, producers can save nearly 15% in hay costs throughout the year by supporting better utilization of feed. Clearly, there will be a return on that investment.
In addition to improved nutrient utilization, Amaferm results in an approximate 16% improvement in volatile fatty acid (VFA) production and an additional 143 grams of microbial protein. In other words, feeding Amaferm is equivalent to supplying the energy in a pound of corn or the protein in a pound of soybean meal or dried distillers grains (DDGS). As an example, with DDGS at $240/ton, a $0.04 daily investment in Amaferm yields $0.12 of additional nutritional value, or a 3:1 return on investment.
More efficient utilization of feed is paramount for individual and industry-wide profitability. Learn more about the research-proven benefits of Amaferm at www.aobiotics.com.
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