A significant increase in new crop cottonseed supplies, coupled with favorable prices, is good news for dairy producers who count on the feedstuff to add a punch of protein, fat and digestible fiber to the ration, experts say.

“Whole cottonseed is for anyone looking to get more milk,” says Steve Heckel, feed sales and nutrition representative of Harmony Country Cooperative in central Wisconsin. “Cottonseed is a good way to get in fat, it is palatable and mostly digestible.”

A December USDA – National Agricultural Statistics Service crop production report forecasted the 2014 cottonseed yield at 5.258 million tons, a projected 25 percent supply increase over 2013, attributed to increased cotton acreage, higher production and good quality.

“Most cotton producing states saw more rain, a milder summer and harvested more bales,” says John Robinson, Texas A&M University professor and Extension specialist of cotton marketing. “Cottonseed supply will be higher and feed demand is not anticipated to change much.”

Adds Larry Johnson, of Cottonseed LLC in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, “With a considerably larger 2014 cotton crop, current cottonseed prices are 10 to 15 percent lower than what they were a year ago.”


Typically considered a feed concentrate, whole cottonseed fits a niche in several ration scenarios to boost milk components or supplement other feedstuffs. With its digestible fiber component, cottonseed can replace some forage, especially if forage quality is a concern. In other rations, the additional fiber may allow for an increase in corn, contributing an overall boost to energy content. PD

—From Cotton Incorporated news release