How do you budget for your stock feed?

How much planning do you put into buying feed for your stock? Do you simply go out month by month and buy what you need, or do you have a plan to ensure that the budget for your stock feed remains on track? Buying stock feed as you need it may seem a reasonable idea that will allow you to take advantage of any drops in feed prices, but it can lead to all sorts of problems over time. Here are three reasons why it makes sense to have a plan and to stick to it:

You can stick to a sensible budget

Before you start to buy feed you must have a realistic idea of how much you are prepared to spend on feed throughout your financial year. If you don't know how much you can afford to spend while still making a profit, you could easily find yourself either spending too much and creating a hole in your finances that you can't fill, or spending less than you need to and buying a cheaper product that is less satisfactory for your animals. It is also possible that not planning in advance could lead you into feed supply problems over time, as available stocks reduce and you need to look further afield for supplies. When setting your budget don't forget that you may need to buy more than you think -- you must allow a reasonable amount for wastage, since there is no way that 100% of what you purchase will make it inside your stock.

You can ensure the quality of your stock feed

The quality of your stock feed is vital. In many ways quality is a more important consideration than price. If you purchase based on price alone and opt for the cheapest feed option, you will probably end up with food that is low in protein and energy. Low-quality feed may end up costing you more money in the long term, as it leads to greater sickness among your stock and they have to eat more of it to get the nourishment they need.

You can see how much feed is being wasted

Once you have a budget you will know how much feed you should be working through in any given period. This will help you to see where you are using more feed than you would expect and identify areas of wastage. Are you experiencing heavy feed losses through delivery wastage, poor storage practices or spoilage? Once you know where you are losing feed, you can make the necessary changes to your routine to keep your expenditures within your budget.

By careful budgeting you can know exactly how much you should be spending on stock feed and ensure that you make the most of your feed once you receive it.