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Possible Response to High Grain Prices

Grass-based dairying, with supplemental concentrates to maintain high milk production, will result in healthy animals, and can result in higher profitability if the grass forage is of high quality and supplemental grains are reasonably priced. As the price of grains continues to rise, however, at some point it may prove economical to harvest grass at a more immature growth stage, generating a higher quality forage that will result in less grain required for balancing rations. Factors that need to be considered are the price of feed grains, the total reduction in grain use through use of higher quality grass, the yield loss associated with harvest of grass at a more immature stage, and whether milk yield is impacted by such a change in diet. Studies are currently underway to investigate this issue.