By Fernando Diaz and Alvaro García

Adequate ration balancing is a crucial component of a dairy farm budget. Undetected nutrient deficiencies or excesses can have different and variable effects on cows’ performance and health. Nutrient content variability (inconsistency) of feed ingredients is frequently mentioned as a constraint by dairy producers and nutrition consultants.

A study on the nutrient composition of soybean meal from the US, Brazilian, and Argentinian processing facilities was published recently in Animal Feed Science and Technology (García-Rebollar et al, 2016). The researchers evaluated soybean meal samples obtained over 9 years (2007 – 2015) in the country of origin (50% of samples), or upon arrival of the shipment to Europe. US samples from the USA were collected from crushing plants located around the Mississippi river (96 samples) and the East Coast (36), or upon arrival to European ports (48) from vessels loaded in New Orleans.

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