Balancing nutrition and agronomy for improved heifer diets

Posted on November 16, 2023 in Dairy Performance
By Noah Litherland, Ph.D. | Heifers have specific nutrient requirements for maintenance, growth and eventually pregnancy. Forages serve as the foundation for the heifer diet and must be selected with heifer nutrient requirements in mind.

Assemble your farm’s best team of experts

Posted on October 31, 2023 in Dairy Performance
By Bob Hagenow, Vita Plus | Here is an unarguable fact: A high-functioning and effective farm team – with all team members in alignment and focused on achieving established farm goals – has a distinct competitive advantage over a farm that operates without a team.

Extend forage inventories without losing milk or increasing costs

Posted on October 2, 2023 in Dairy Performance
By Wyatt Smith, Vita Plus | With much of the Midwest facing limited rainfall and dry conditions, expected forage yield and forage inventories are an area of concern. Many producers have raised the question of how to best extend current forage inventories with the goal of minimal impact to milk output and feed costs.

Height considerations for corn silage cutting

Posted on September 8, 2023 in Dairy Performance
By Barry Visser, Vita Plus | Corn silage harvest is at the doorstep for many dairy farms across the Midwest.  The growing season has been nearly ideal for some while others have dealt with drought and, more recently, hail damage.  These growing differences, and other management considerations, make it difficult to have one common recommendation for corn silage cutting height.  There is a trade-off between reduced yields and higher quality as more stalk residue is left in the field.

Trial shows delayed sealing’s negative impact on forage quality

Posted on August 24, 2023 in Dairy Performance
By Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian, Ph.D., Vita Plus | The initial phase of making silage is the aerobic phase and it is characterized by the presence of oxygen. The aerobic phase begins when the plant is cut in the field and continues until the silo is sealed (either the plastic is laid on top of the silo or the bag silo is sealed) and oxygen is consumed by the upfront fermentation.

What producers should know in shaking off the dairy doldrums

Posted on July 20, 2023 in Dairy Performance
Sarina Sharp, Ag Business Solutions | High inflation and interest rates should have minimal impact on landowners, asset holders and businesses with debt interest rates locked in.

Create an effective conversation on farm transition

Posted on July 20, 2023 in Dairy Performance
By Jenn Coyne, Progressive Dairy | Change is difficult, whether it is a change in business or transitioning the business from one generation to the next.  Develop a plan and effectively communicate between parties to avoid a failed transition.

The first 24: Get calves off to a great start with colostrum

Posted on July 20, 2023 in Dairy Performance
By Bethany Dado-Senn, Ph.D., and Lucas Mitchell, Ph.D. | The birth of a calf signals the start of a 24-hour race to ensure the foundation of a strong immune system. 

Flourish in the trenches of transformation

Posted on July 20, 2023 in Dairy Performance
By Jenn Coyne, Progressive Dairy | Change is inevitable. Understanding the process of change and how to adapt may help individuals thrive in unfamiliar situations.

Create the five-star dining experience cows crave

Posted on July 20, 2023 in Dairy Performance
Jenn Coyne, Progressive Dairy | Cows need the complete package when it comes to a great dining experience that will maximize feed intake to maximize milk components.  Ration uniformity and feed availability are key factors in creating that perfect feeding environment.

These producers put sustainability to work

Posted on July 19, 2023 in Dairy Performance
By Jenn Coyne, Progressive Dairy | Three Midwest dairy producers share their paths toward a more sustainable business for the future of their farms and communities.

Five ways to influence policy from a farmer’s perspective

Posted on July 19, 2023 in Dairy Performance
By Jenn Coyne, Progressive Dairy | Sadie Frericks is a veteran at telling her family’s farm story and having that story influence legislative decisions.  Here are five ways Frericks says every farmer can impact policy on and off the farm.

Smart feeding can lead to increased milk in robotic herds

Posted on July 19, 2023 in Dairy Performance
By Jenn Coyne, Progressive Dairy | Feeding a robotic milking herd may seem like a balancing act between what is fed at the bunk and in the box.  Industry observations indicate consistency between both is the true driver of increased energy-corrected milk and components.

Price protection:  A tool to keep your feed costs competitive

Posted on July 5, 2023 in Dairy Performance
By Steve Good, Vita Plus dairy specialist | Price-protecting feed is one strategy to help control costs on your farm.  The current market environment and its fluctuating prices can make it difficult to budget for the cost of purchased feedstuffs, especially corn and protein.  A variety of strategies are available to producers to price-protect corn and protein sources and help control costs.  The following steps can help you choose the strategies that best fit your farming business.

Support early life calf health with extended colostrum and transition milk feedings

Posted on June 27, 2023 in Dairy Performance
By Lucas Mitchell, Ph.D., Vita Plus | Calves are quite susceptible to disease in their first four weeks of life. How these challenges are combatted varies from farm to farm, but a couple of items consistently ring true.

Culture supportive of mental health

Posted on May 30, 2023 in Dairy Performance
By Brock Irwin | Tips provided for building a supportive farm culture, recognizing mental health challenges and having discussions about mental health.