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Feed composition analysis

This page considers the cost of the protein component in dairy cow feed rations and allows to analyze the cost of protein contained in different protein-rich animal feed sources.
Goal of the page is to promote an economic analysis of the protein component in the feed so as to allow the selection of the best possible protein source, bearing of course in mind that any change of ingredients in the feed ration implies synergic reactions which must be carefully assessed.

The first chart exhibits the monthly market value of 100 kg of the Simulated Feed Ration.
The Simulated Feed Ration is a theoretical feed model exclusively based on the use of corn and soybean extraction meal 44%; this has been taken as a model since the two constituent ingredients are price drivers for all the raw materials available on the market. This feed ration can therefore be used as an indication for the cost trend of concentrated feed.
Composition of the Simulated Feed Ration is as follows:
Corn meal70%
Soybean extraction meal 44% protein30%
Raw protein as fed19%
Value in MFU1,05
The Simulated Feed Ration, fed in amounts varying between 11 and 13 kilograms, with the addition of forages of corn silage and hay (for the production of liquid milk and Grana Padano) or of only hay (for the production of Parmigiano Reggiano), allows to cover the theoretical production requirements of a multiparous cow producing 30 kg of milk with a 4% fat content. The monthly price of the products corresponds to the average monthly quotation of the Commodities Exchange of the Milan Chamber of Commerce.

The second chart shows the weight (in percentage) of the price of each of the two components on the total cost of the Simulated Feed Ration as well as the price percentage variation compared to the previous month.

The third chart compares the Simulated Feed Ration Cost and the Farm-gate Milk Price in Lombardy (Italy).

The fourth chart exhibits the "Milk:Feed Ratio", defined as the price of 100kg of Farm-gate Milk in Lombardy (Italy) / the cost of 100kg of Simulated Feed Ration The Milk:Feed Ratio represents how many kg of Simulated Feed Ration could be purchased with the gross revenue from 1kg of milk at the stated price.

The fifth chart shows the cost of protein obtained from different animal feeds. The calculation is as follows: market value of the feed / protein titre (as fed) The protein titre for each product is included in the table.
The market value considered corresponds to the monthly average of the weekly quotations of the Commodities Exchange of the Milan Chamber of Commerce. Source of the protein titre used is INEA - Istituto Nazionale di Economia Agraria.

Page compiled with the contribution of Dr. Roberto Preti, Veterinary Physician.

Chart 1.

Chart 2.

Show/Hide the historical trend of the average monthly price
of Italian Corn


€/ton Italy, Milan - Monthly average price

2006 2011 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 % on prev. month % on 2020
January 131 244 173 178 177 187 174 207 +9,52% +18,97%
February 129 243 174 180 177 185 176 227 +9,42% +29,06%
March 128 243 171 182 179 182 179
April 131 254 177 182 185 181 183
May 138 263 185 183 190 180 179
June 142 272 204 185 191 184 181
July 144 270 194 190 189 182 183
August 147 241 185 185 195 179 185
September 149 211 171 178 185 176 174
October 161 189 170 176 182 173 179
November 166 191 176 178 181 172 189
December 164 189 177 178 183 172 189
Jan - Feb 130 243 173 179 177 186 175 217
Change (1) -4,05% +87,29% -28,66% +3,24% -1,36% +5,17% -5,92% +24,03%
Jan - Dec 144 235 180 181 184 179 181
Change (1) +10,23% +62,94% -23,53% +0,85% +1,54% -2,39% +0,60%
Milan Chamber of Commerce
The average monthly price is calculated on the weekly quotes.
1) change from the same period of previous year , except for years 2006, 2011, 2016, where the change is from the same period 5 years ago
  = min price
= max price
Show/Hide the historical trend of the average monthly price
of Italian Soybean extraction meal 44%


€/ton Italy, Milan - Monthly average price

2006 2011 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 % on prev. month % on 2020
January 227 387 333 387 346 349 358 505 +13,12% +41,02%
February 221 375 329 388 386 339 361 515 +1,98% +42,72%
March 208 347 325 369 406 336 399
April 206 325 340 355 431 338 395
May 203 324 405 346 451 332 353
June 208 316 435 334 391 352 334
July 203 323 415 339 371 335 332
August 204 324 373 318 362 328 338
September 207 326 355 319 349 328 357
October 221 316 357 329 358 333 404
November 225 305 374 327 355 336 443
December 222 304 375 343 355 347 446
Jan - Feb 224 381 331 388 366 344 359 510
Change (1) -10,62% +69,92% -13,13% +17,21% -5,63% -6,01% +4,43% +41,87%
Jan - Dec 213 331 367 346 381 338 378
Change (1) -14,11% +55,70% +10,92% -5,73% +9,94% -11,27% +11,94%
Milan Chamber of Commerce
The average monthly price is calculated on the weekly quotes.
1) change from the same period of previous year , except for years 2006, 2011, 2016, where the change is from the same period 5 years ago
  = min price
= max price

Chart 3.


Show/Hide the comparison between the Simulated Feed Ration Cost and
the Farm-gate Milk Price in Lombardy (Italy) since 2011



Show/Hide the comparison between the Simulated Feed Ration Cost and
the Farm-gate Milk Price in Lombardy (Italy), Germany and France


Chart 4.

The following chart represents how many kg of Simulated Feed Ration could be purchased with the gross revenue from 1kg of milk.

Chart 5.

The values presented in the following chart show the cost of 1000 g (1kg) of protein obtained from the raw materials considered.

Example: the value of Italian soybean extraction meal 44% on January 2013 was equal to 1.02. This means that the price of 1000 g of protein provided by Italian soybean extraction meal 44% was in that month of €1,02.
Feed Protein Content
% as fed
Rapeseed extraction meal 34.4
Whole grain sunflower extraction meal 24.0
Decorticated sunflower extraction meal 33.6
Foreign soybean extraction meal 44% 43.4
Italian soybean extraction meal 44% 43.4
Foreign decorticated soybean extraction meal 49.0
Italian decorticated soybean extraction meal 49.0

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