Summertime activities keep livestock producers more than busy, but it might be worthwhile for a producer to think about feed needs for the upcoming winter, a Kansas State University animal scientist said.

Historically, winter protein needs could be purchased more economically during the off season, said Sandy Johnson, K-State Research and Extension livestock specialist in northwest Kansas. "With all the focus on the ethanol industry, we might forget all the other by-products that are available," she said. "A good way to follow some of these prices is to visit a University of Missouri Web site that is updated weekly at http://agebb.missouri.edu/dairy/byprod/bplist.asp."

The site includes company names and contact information, the type of feed each one has available, and current prices.

K-StateĀ“s Johnson cautioned that producers should factor in storage, storage losses, transportation costs and feeding costs into their purchase decisions. Still, advance planning may help control feed costs.