Friday, May 29, 2009

Milk Feed Ratio

Today, May 29, 2009 USDA released the milk feed ration for May of 1.47.

A milk-feed ratio is reported monthly by USDA. The milk-feed ratio, according to USDA, is the number of pounds of 16-percent protein mixed dairy feed equal in value to 1 pound of whole milk.

Feed in the milk-feed calculation is computed by USDA as 100 pounds of 16 percent feed should contain 51 pounds of corn, 8 pounds of soybeans, and 41 pounds of alfalfa hay.

A significant problem with these calculations is geography. The prices used are weighted for volume. This gives a low costs ration. However, where the hay is produced, say Nebraska, for example, is not where the corn and soy is produced. Therefore the calculations are flawed by way of an artificially low price for feed.

Conclusions drawn from the milk-feed ratio are also flawed. There is no connection between milk-feed ratio and milk production.

Nevertheless, USDA has used the milk-feed ratio consistently for years. Since 1985, the milk-feed ratio has averaged 2.87. If you swallow the usual PhD drivel, there should not have been any increase in milk production since 1985.

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