The Difference Between Intake on a Dry Matter and As Is Basis

February 18, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF

When determining daily feed or forage intake, intake is commonly determined on a dry matter basis. Intake on a dry matter basis means that it doesn’t include moisture. We know that cattle eat feeds that include moisture and, by the same token, not all feeds contain the same amount of moisture. So if intake can be determine on a dry matter basis, it can easily be converted to an “as is” or “as-fed” basis. As an example, if it were determined the daily dry matter intake of a 1,200 pound cow is 24 pounds and the hay that she is consuming is 88% dry matter, the cow would consume about 27 (24 pounds/.88) pounds per day on an as-fed basis. If the same 1,200 pound cow is fed a ration where part of the ration called for corn silage to be fed at 10 pounds per head per day on a dry matter basis and the corn silage is 35% dry matter and 65% moisture, the pounds of corn silage in the diet would be 28.5 (10 pounds/.35) pounds per head per day on an as-fed basis.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.