6 steps to unravel your farm data

Posted on April 17, 2024 in Dairy Performance
By Katelyn Goldsmith, Vita Plus | Data is abundant on today’s dairy farms.  It can serve as a powerful tool and also be overwhelming at times.  Have you looked at a spreadsheet or report and felt a little lost?  What does this data mean?  What is it telling me?  What do I do with the information?  Following are six steps to unravel your farm’s data and put it to work.

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.

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.

Benchmarking survey helps farms evaluate IOFC

Posted on January 3, 2023 in Dairy Performance
By Stacy Nichols | Because feed represents more than 50% of the cost of milk production, dairy producers often ask how their feed costs compare to those of other farms.  As markets change, it’s important to regularly evaluate feed costs, ask whether you’re getting acceptable returns on your farm’s feed additives and dietary strategies, and explore whether you have opportunities to save on feed costs or invest in milk production for a greater return. With these questions in mind, Vita Plus dairy nutritionists recently conducted a benchmarking analysis survey of income over feed cost (IOFC) with 35 Holstein dairy herds in Michigan and Indiana.

Vita Plus Midwest Dairy Summit Recap

Posted on July 21, 2022 in Company News
Dairy producers and industry peers gathered together June 15 and 16, 2022, in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, to network and gain practical insight from agricultural leaders. This e-news provides summary articles from the event sessions.

How agriculture can navigate disruptions and changing policies for future growth

Posted on July 21, 2022 in Dairy Performance
The ping-pong game of Washington politics creates uncertainty as well as direct and indirect consequences for farmers across the U.S. During her presentation at the Vita Plus Midwest Dairy Conference, Constance Cullman, president and CEO of the American Feed Industry Association, highlighted some of the issues likely to affect dairy producers in the upcoming months.

Walking the tightrope: Dairy markets in 2022 and beyond

Posted on July 21, 2022 in Dairy Performance
“One of the things we do especially well in the dairy industry is volatility,” said Phil Plourd, president of Blimling and Associates, Inc. and host of The Dairy Download podcast, during his presentation at the Vita Plus Midwest Dairy Conference. Overall, Plourd said the outlook for U.S. dairy is mostly positive.

Producer panel: Current strategies for employee and business management in a chaotic environment

Posted on July 19, 2022 in Dairy Performance
Tim Kerfeld, J Hall, and Rebecca Davis own and/or manage vastly different operations, but all are intensely focused on the long-term success of their farming businesses. They compared their management strategies during a producer panel at the Vita Plus Midwest Dairy Conference.

The real reel of diversification

Posted on July 19, 2022 in Dairy Performance
McComish Farms' succession plan, industry price swings, the future of the industry and consumer trends, and building for their growing family's future all influenced Amber and Joe McComish's diversification goals.

Advocating within your wheelhouse

Posted on July 19, 2022 in Dairy Performance
Heather Jauquet is passionate about sharing her dairy story with the local community and beyond. During her presentation at the Vita Plus Midwest Dairy Conference, Jauquet shared examples of leveraging her networks and finding effective ways to share her farm’s story.

Automated milking systems: Why it was right for us and might be right for you

Posted on July 19, 2022 in Dairy Performance
Luke Laufenberg has joined his father and uncle full-time on the family farm and “technology implementer” is one of his many roles. Laufenberg shared the benefits of AMS his family has seen during his presentation at the Vita Plus Midwest Dairy Conference.

Maintaining focus when everything’s a blur

Posted on July 14, 2022 in Dairy Performance
Randall Greenfield, Vita Plus vice president sales and business development, recently came across an article in which a farm owner said he was focused on “avoiding any catastrophic mistakes.” During his presentation at the Vita Plus Midwest Dairy Conference, Greenfield shared five things to watch to avoid catastrophes in a dairy farm business.

Prioritize your heat abatement options

Posted on June 7, 2022 in Dairy Performance
By Dr. David Carlson Heat stress presents many challenges for dairy farms, including diminished milk production, reduced reproductive performance and stressed cow wellbeing. Long-term impacts can be felt for years in terms of the health and productivity of offspring. Prioritize your heat abatement options by identifying maintenance needs of existing systems as well as high-value

9 best practices when renewing or adopting feed management technology

Posted on March 22, 2022 in Dairy Performance
By Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus dairy technology specialist Renewing or adopting feed management technology on your farm does not have to have to be a stressful process.  These nine steps can help simplify the process, clarify your goals and determine what system best meets your needs.

Survey provides dairy farm employee compensation benchmarks

Posted on November 24, 2021 in Dairy Performance
By Steve Maier “What do other farms pay their employees?”  “What benefits do they offer?”  “How do you compete for good employees?” Our team at Agri-Business Consultants, LLC is often asked these questions.  To help farms benchmark their employee compensation and benefits, we conducted a survey of 50 Midwest dairy farms this summer and summarized