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Could you buy concentrates more efficiently?

11 March, 2019
Could you buy concentrates more efficiently?
It is well understood that concentrates must be carefully selected to provide the energy and protein required to balance forage. Less understood however, is the relative advantages and disadvantages of the forms in which this is purchased.
Straights are feed ingredients such as wheat and rapemeal. To purchase, they are cheaper on the whole, offer a known source and analysis, and provide unrivalled flexibility. Straights do however require investment in storage, blending equipment and supplementation, and consequently cash flow.

Blends are an unpelleted mixture of straights that also offer known analysis, without the same level of investment. As blending requires less energy than compounding, the margin over the raw material cost is less. While flexible, changes are slower to implement, livestock can be selective, and careful attention must be paid to storage conditions and quality.
Compounds are a balanced and mineralised blend of ingredients which have been forced through a die at high pressure and temperature to form a clean pellet, nut or roll. These are nutritionally consistent, fully mineralised and can be formed with additional supplements such as yeasts and mycotoxin binders, removing the need to invest in and store full pallets of expensive supplements. Feeding is less labour intensive and requires less storage as compounders can supply in either bulk or 25kg bags. They are however more expensive per tonne, especially in small quantities, and in the absence of an agreed fixed formulation, can be reformulated to the least-cost ration with a high protein and energy tolerance.
In conclusion, straights and blends are beneficial for larger producers with the necessary space and cash flow, offering flexibility, value for money and a tailored analysis, though at the cost of an increased workload. Compounds in contrast are suited to in-parlour and automatic feed systems, require less investment and can be delivered in smaller quantities, however will cost more per tonne to purchase.

Speak to the team to discuss your requirements and to request a quote.
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