Soybeans as a home-grown supplement for dairy cows
Soybeans, grown on the farm, give promise of providing many dairymen with a valuable protein supplement for their dairy herds which will make them independent of the purchase of high-priced protein feeds. Investigations at the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station show that soybeans make a palatable dairy feed, that they give good results in milk production when fed in place of other protein supplements, and that pound for pound they are a third more valuable than oilmeal, with which direct comparison was made.
A home-grown supplement of that kind would be especially valuable to Iowa dairy farms. These farms easily produce all of the roughages needed for the herds in both winter and summer, such as ensilage, clover, alfalfa hay and soiling crops. It is also relatively easy for them to provide the greater portion of the grain ration, as the home-grown corn and oats should form the basis of the concentrates fed. These two feeds, however, are relatively low in protein and so are the roughages, with the exception of the legume hays. It is necessary, therefore, to secure additional concentrates which will provide the extra protein needed, especially in the ration of heavy producing cows. This is one of the main problems of dairy farming today.