Dairy producers can expect to see a significant increase in whole cottonseed supplies this year, according to Cotton Inc., which pointed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest "Crop Progress" report showing that cotton production is projected to reach 21.7 million bales, an 18% increase from last year.
“Nearly a million more tons of cottonseed will be produced this year compared to last season, and virtually all of that will be available for feeding to dairy cows,” Cotton Inc. director of cottonseed research Tom Wedegaertner explained. “This is significant because whole cottonseed is the only feedstuff with high energy, high fiber and protein, making it an excellent feed ingredient for lactating cows.”
Crop conditions are comparable to last year, but with the weather playing a defining factor, the current crop could experience some variability, the announcement said.
Wedegaertner recommended that producers book cottonseed needs early and work with reputable merchants and suppliers.
“Cottonseed prices remain firm with other commodities, but even when it seems like it costs a little more, it proves a high-value feed ingredient for high-producing cows,” he added. “Whole cottonseed offers strong potential for increasing milk and butterfat production when added to rations. By keeping an eye on cottonseed prices and with adequate planning, dairy producers can guarantee cottonseed in their upcoming rations.”
According to the announcement, cottonseed is an excellent source of fiber, protein and energy. Typical rations can include up to 15% cottonseed on a dry matter basis. For more information, including reports on market conditions, feeding information and a list of suppliers, visit wholecottonseed.com.
Cotton Inc., funded by U.S. growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, is the research and marketing company representing upland cotton. The program is designed and operated to improve the demand for and profitability of cotton.