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The University of Tennessee | Institute of Agriculture

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Frequently Used Tools:




Hay Calculator

Feed cost is most often the largest variable expense in a cow/calf operation. The method of storing hay can greatly impact these costs by potentially increasing the amount of hay needed to meet the herd's nutritional requirements. The method of storage can impact not only the quanity of hay available but also the quality. The reduction in quality due to storage method can inturn impact the herd's performance and efficiency and ultimately your bottomline.

In addition to the losses incurred due to the method of storage, there are losses due to the feeding method utilized. The storage and feeding losses are cumulative and can greatly impact the amount of hay needed to be produced or purchased to meet the nutritional requirements of the herd.

The Hay Calculator is an Excel-based tool which can help a user evaluate the impact of improving their storage and feeding methods to reduce losses and costs.

In addition to understanding potential losses from storage and feeding methods, the impact the quality of the forage has on how much an animal can consume must also be understood. The Quality Analysis portion of this tool will help compare two hay/forage samples and provide measures that can help identify hay/forages best suited for varying classes of cattle.

Note on Security Settings

The file contains macros (buttons for printing and moving from the intro page to the calculator). Security settings for Microsoft Office or Excel may give you warnings for when you open the file. This will especially be true if your security settings are set to high or very high. The following should correct the issue.

For Excel 2010

  • When you open the file a "Security Warning" Message may appear just above the spreadsheet.
  • The message will read "This file originated from an Internet location and might be unsafe."
  • Click on the "Enable Editing" Button beside the message.
  • A second message may then appear just above the spreadsheet which reads “Some active content has been disabled."
  • Click on the "Enable Content" Button beside the message.

For Excel 2007

  • When you open the file a "Security Warning" Message may appear just above the spreadsheet.
  • The message will read "Some active content has been disabled."
  • Click on the "Options" Button beside the message.
  • A Microsoft Office security window appears. Select "Enable the content" then "OK".

For Excel 2003
If your security settings are set to High or Very High a message will be displayed and you may need to change your security settings to enable the macros.

  • Open Excel
  • Select the "Tools" menu option
  • From the Tools menu select "Macro" and then select "Security"...
  • A window will be displayed which will include a tab labeled Security Level
  • Select "Medium" and then "OK"
  • Now open the Buy/Sell Margins Calculator file
  • When you open the file, a security warning window will appear
  • Select the "Enable Macros" button to continue opening the file

For additional information contact Tammy McKinley