How to Convert From Dry Matter Basis

Farmers closely manage cow dry matter intake.
Farmers closely manage cow dry matter intake. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Most animal feed and pet food ingredients include water in their basic structure. Manufacturers of animal feed and pet foods list nutrients and ingredients on a "dry matter" or "as fed" basis. Farmers determine moisture content of feed using standard methods. The ingredient portion reported on a dry matter basis is its weight or portion after removal of all moisture. Conversion from dry matter to "as fed" basis involves calculation using the ingredient dry matter weight and dry matter content.

Things You'll Need

  • Ingredient dry matter percentage
  • Calculator
  • Microwave oven
  • Scale

Determine the dry matter content of the feed or feed ingredient as a percentage. Consult charts, for example from "Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle," for expected moisture and dry matter content of ingredients with stable moisture content such as grains.

Determine dry matter content of ingredients with variable moisture content, such as grass or silage. Use techniques described by the National Forage Testing Association, such as using microwave or conventional oven drying.

Divide the dry matter percentage of the ingredient by 100. For example, if the ingredient is 30 percent dry matter, then divide 30 by 100 to get 0.3

Divide the dry matter by this number. If the dry matter weight of the ingredient in Step 2 is six pounds, for example, divide six by 0.3. The result is the weight of the ingredient on an as fed basis - 20 pounds.

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