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

What’s the goal? More milk or reduced purchased feed costs?

Posted on September 29, 2021 in Dairy Performance
You’ve likely been told “variety A will produce more milk than variety B” when choosing your forage crop varieties. However, it usually doesn’t work exactly that way in the real world.

You get what you pay for when it comes to forage inoculants

Posted on June 30, 2021 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian
Not all bacterial strains with the same name behave the same, and not all inoculants will provide the same level of quality and effectiveness.  Price will always be a consideration when purchasing a forage inoculant, but, before you purchase inoculant based on price alone, take a moment to understand the amount of research and money that goes into creating and marketing a viable forage inoculant.

Use your data to increase efficiency and profitability

Posted on March 3, 2021 in Dairy Performance

By Mark Case
Every dairy farm has opportunities to improve efficiency and profitability.  One way to do this is to harness and make sense of your farm’s data.  By diving into the data behind each of these six factors, we can determine what management steps can have the biggest effects on efficiency and profitability.

VIDEO: When should you use an L. buchneri inoculant?

Posted on July 22, 2020 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian
Warmer temperatures create the perfect environment for spoilage in your forages. In this video, I explain how a forage inoculant with L. buchneri 40788 can help prevent spoilage, as well as the circumstances in which it's best not to use it. 

Forage and business tips from Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting 2020

Posted on May 27, 2020 in Dairy Performance

The 2020 forage season is underway!  Are you geared up for success?  Speakers at the Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting held in February shared a wide range of expertise in forage production as well as business management.  Browse all of the event e-news topics in this post and visit Vita Plus Forage Foundations for more forage-focused technical expertise and practical tips.

Serving customers & rural communities

Posted on May 15, 2020 in Dairy Performance

Vita Plus recently launched the Serving Customers & Rural Communities Project.  Through this project, Vita Plus has committed $100,000 to support rural food security initiatives throughout the Upper Midwest.  The purposes of the project are to assist those in rural communities during the COVID-19 pandemic while also showing support for dairy, swine, and beef producers by purchasing their products.  Click the link below to see the growing list of projects happening in communities across the Midwest.  We sincerely thank all the dairy and livestock farmers who work hard to provide nutritious, safe food for our families.  It's an honor to work with you.

Step away for a better view

Posted on March 9, 2020 in Dairy Performance

By Bob Hagenow
When you wear many hats on your dairy, it may seem difficult – or even impossible – to spend any time away.  But taking a few days to attend an industry event can provide several benefits, including different perspectives, financial benchmarking, planning for the future, practical learning and an opportunity to refocus.

Put computer record systems to work for calf management

Posted on February 24, 2020 in Dairy Performance

By Jon Rasmussen
As computer herd management programs have improved, we have new opportunities to define what needs to be recorded and how this can help us not only treat calves, but also identify higher-level strategies for improvement. 

Survey results: Optimizing robot IOFC

Posted on February 6, 2020 in Dairy Performance

By Eliza Ruzic and Pat Hoffman
As robotic milking systems continue to gain interest and adoption, dairy producers are looking at the economics associated with the technology.  Producers often ask us, “What truly influences milk production on a robotic dairy?  Do pellet characteristics influence visits and milk production?  Does the energy density of the partially mixed ration (PMR) affect milk production?”

Waves of Change: Vita Plus Dairy Summit Recap

Posted on January 30, 2020 in Dairy Performance

During Vita Plus Dairy Summit in December, attendees explored many “waves of change” in the dairy industry.  If you did not attend the event – or did attend and are looking for a refresher – browse the topics in this post to access the full event e-news.

2020 financials: A need for cautious optimism

Posted on January 20, 2020 in Dairy Performance

By Steve Maier
As we receive improved milk prices for the year ahead, we should see some recovery to our profitability, which will, in turn, lead to recovery of the balance sheet. Reflecting on my 20 years of finance experience, I seldom see bad decisions made in the worst years; they always seem to happen in the best years.

Milk protein regains the crown

Posted on December 26, 2019 in Dairy Performance

While fat’s value has remained steady and worth capturing, starting in February 2019, protein values have taken off like Usain Bolt running the 100 meter. In fact, it has increased by 232% since February, or more than 20% per month - a pretty amazing performance.  The impact of this on recent milk checks has been a welcomed relief to dairy producers and the industry as a whole.

Farm profitability: Take a good look at these 6 numbers

Posted on December 9, 2019 in Dairy Performance

By Marin Western
Today’s dairy producers have a wealth of data at their fingertips. Details for health, reproduction, feedings and inventories just scratch the surface of the numbers that can be generated from farm data. One of the biggest challenges is what to do with all this information.  A study by Compeer Financial and Zoetis identified six factors that account for 85% of the variation in farm profitability.

7 steps to maximize income over feed costs

Posted on June 10, 2019 in Dairy Performance

By Rod Martin
Evaluating feed costs is a double-edged sword.  Because it’s your largest expense, cost-cutting measures could be extremely significant in reducing cost of production.  On the other hand, milk production and components are the economic engine that drives cash flow.  Saving 20 cents per cow daily in feed costs while losing 50 cents in productivity is not a good economic tradeoff decision.