How to calculate dry weight basis

Updated November 21, 2016

Most feed ingredients contain moisture. Nutritionists describe feed weight on a dry weight basis, called "dry matter basis," which is the weight if all moisture is removed, or an "as fed basis," which is the weight with moisture included. Farmers make many calculations of dry matter weight of feeds in preparing and comparing feeds and monitoring feed intake. Use weight of a feed and per cent dry matter in a simple calculation to determine dry matter weight.

Determine the feed ingredient weight.

Determine the feed ingredient percentage dry matter. Consult charts for ingredients with stable dry matter percentage such as grains. For example, in the National Research Council's "Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle." For ingredients with variable dry matter percentage, determine dry matter using conventional or microwave oven procedures or near infrared reflectance spectroscopy as described by the National Forage Testing Association.

Divide the dry matter percentage by 100. For example, if the dry matter percentage is 40 per cent, divide 40 by 100 to get 0.4.

Multiply the number calculated in step 3 by the weight of the feed ingredient. In the example, if the weight of the ingredient is 4.54 Kilogram, the dry matter weight is 4.54 Kilogram times 0.4, or four pounds.

Things You'll Need

  • Feed dry matter chart
  • Calculator
  • Oven
  • Scale
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