Everyone knows that supplemental feed costs money, but not everyone calculates what it costs to deliver supplement.

Consider what Dale Blasi, Kansas State University (KSU) Extension stocker specialist, terms a typical example. He was helping a producer calculate the cost of supplementing heifers with cubes at the rate of 5 lbs./day, delivered every three days for 150 days. At $260/ton, the cost of the supplement came out to 61¢/head/day. When you figure the cost of delivering it, though, using a pickup and cake box, the price grows 35% to 93¢/head/day.

Obviously, there are lots of ways to vary the cost with such things as frequency, the amount of supplement fed per day and whatnot. The point is, there are more supplement costs in need of accounting than the supplement itself.

With that in mind, Blasi and Kevin Dhuyvetter, KSU ag economist, recently revised a computer Excel spreadsheet called SUPPCOST that is available at no charge. The program is designed to help evaluate the indirect costs associated with delivering supplements.

“Program options can be modified to account for the diversity in cattle management and supplements found throughout the U.S.,” Dhuyvetter says.

You can find the SUPCOST program at www.agmanager.info/.