As the number of dairy cows has grown in the Magic Valley of southern Idaho, so has the interest in including soy products in the ration. Soy Best(r) fits many dairy operations well.
Jess Argyle, a nutritional consultant with Standard Nutrition, works with 45 dairies in south central and eastern Idaho, and into northern Utah. About 75 percent of those clients rely on Soy Best to provide the bypass protein for their cows. Some have the product shipped directly to their dairies, others have Soy Best shipped in protein blends.
“Soy Best is a good quality product,” Argyle says. “It’s consistent and I get results with it.”
Argyle uses the spread sheet method when comparing Soy Best to other sources of bypass protein. “We look at the cost per unit of protein, the cost per unit of energy and the cost per unit of bypass protein,” he explains. “Then we look at what’s available on the market and how well that fits in.”
In 1999, soy products – particularly Soy Best – fit in very well. Even with the cost of Soy Best increasing significantly in 2000, many dairies continue to use Soy Best T because it is palatable and works well for them.
And Argyle is seeing a change in how his clients look at feed costs. In today’s economic climate, many are looking for the most efficient ration – and that’s not necessarily the least cost ration. Since bypass protein costs more than the soluble protein sources, we need to be able to justify the increase in feed costs by increasing milk production and milk protein, he says. The only way to measure the value of a product is to calculate income over feed costs.
“With milk prices down, we’ve got to get every pound of milk out of every pound of feed,” Argyle says. Feeding quality products, like Soy Best, is often the key to maximizing production.
Another selling point for his clients is the consistency – both in terms of quality and supply. “I’ve never had problems getting product out here,” Argyle says.