Doubling down on homegrown proteins

Posted on May 11, 2021 in Dairy Performance

By Steve Murty
Feed prices have increased substantially in recent months.  Further complicating the cost situation, the winter storm that blew through Texas froze water pipes and natural gas lines, which created a short-term deficiency of feed-grade urea.  These two unpredictable incidents emphasize how important it is to double down on forage management practices to preserve homegrown protein yields and save out-of-pocket expenses. 

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.

Nitrates in your forages – beware!

Posted on September 10, 2019 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian
Most producers would probably say 2019 has been a stressful cropping season.  Many of our crops have experienced their own kinds of stress – and this could result in dangerous conditions as we harvest and put up forages.

How do we feed low-moisture corn silage?

Posted on October 1, 2018 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Darin Bremmer, Vita Plus regional sales manager
Parts of our market area saw intense rainfall and flooding in recent weeks, causing a delay in harvest until the fields can dry out.  Other parts saw the exact opposite and have dealt with severe drought for the better part of the growing season.

Both crop situations can result in low moisture levels and these producers will have to work through the unique challenges of harvesting low-moisture corn silage.  When it comes to properly harvesting and feeding dry corn silage, it helps to adjust harvest basics - such as kernel processing, chopping height and packing - to achieve a good fermentation.

The good, bad and deadly of silo gases

Posted on September 17, 2018 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian
As producers fill silos, bunkers or bags, I often get calls about gases coming off the silage.  During fermentation, many different gases are formed.  For the most past, this is very normal.  I expect gas formation to occur for roughly a week after a silo is sealed, although some silos can produce gas longer.  While some gases are harmless, others are deadly.  You can never be too cautious when it comes to silo gas.

Alkaline treatment of corn stover: Can it work on my dairy?

Posted on October 10, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By John Brantsen and Jon Urness As we’re looking to make the most out of our crops this year, alkaline treatment of corn stover is gaining attention as a potential strategy to improve the feed value of this byproduct. Research shows that treating feedstuffs with calcium oxide increases cellulose digestibility, which improves the feed value

2012 drought: When to harvest and pricing corn

Posted on July 20, 2012 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. John Goeser, Chris Wacek-Driver and Randy Greenfield

(Editors note:  Scroll to the bottom of this article for a full webinar recording on this topic as well as PowerPoint slides from the presentation.) Many of you are facing drought conditions and re-thinking your forage strategy as a result.  Make your decisions based on actual conditions and move forward after careful consideration of your options. 

Make the right decisions for harvesting drought-stressed corn silage

Posted on July 13, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Chris Wacek-Driver The drought conditions we’re seeing have many of us worrying about this year’s yields.  It is extremely difficult and emotionally challenging to watch a valuable and needed crop curl and turn brown due to lack of moisture.  While the gut tendency may be reactive based on visual information, careful analysis and informed