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.

Set autofeeders to match your calf-feeding goals

Posted on October 13, 2021 in Dairy Performance
All the settings of an autofeeder work together and one change can affect the others.  Program the machine so that milk volume, minimum and maximum limitations, and concentration match your calf-feeding strategy.

Work safely in the winter

Posted on January 29, 2021 in Dairy Performance

By Chris Belz
Hard work and a dairy farm go hand in hand, but we need to stay healthy to care for our families and our animals.  Here are a few reminders for safe farm work in the winter.

Stay safe: That text can wait

Posted on January 14, 2021 in Dairy Performance

By Kate McAndrews
Even texters and drivers hate texters and drivers (in farming too).  Many may be driving less frequently right now, but we should continue to challenge ourselves and each other to reduce our distracted driving habits because each of us is so critically important to those around us – both on the farm and at home.  Everyone around the world thrives on communication and efficiency, but we also need to thrive on safety. 

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.

8 ways to control alfalfa quality

Posted on May 2, 2019 in Dairy Performance

By Nathan Hrnicek
Typically, to achieve higher-quality alfalfa, the crop is harvested earlier (between 23 and 28 days). Harvesting in the early- to mid-bud stage is still the best and most practical way to maximize quality.  

Another way to maximize quality is to maximize leaf retention.  The leaves are where you get an increase in quality because they are more digestible compared to the stems.  More overall leaves means lower undigestible material, which means higher-quality alfalfa.  To help maintain or increase leaf retention and improve quality, here are some other practices you can enact during the harvest process.

Safely warm newborn calves

Posted on January 3, 2019 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Noah Litherland
Every one of us in the dairy industry has an inborn fondness for cattle, and value newborn calves and the promise they bring. Let’s get wise about thermal support for our calves in the first 24 hours of their lives during cold weather.

7 ways to save calf starter dollars

Posted on May 24, 2018 in Dairy Performance

By Ann Hoskins
The best way to save on calf starter without sacrificing growth and performance is to limit waste. These seven steps can help you save money on calf starter.

Applicator hibernation is over

Posted on May 4, 2018 in Dairy Performance

By Jon Urness
It won't be long until we count on our forage inoculant applicators to apply inoculants reliably and accurately.  How we ease them into service could have a huge impact on how they perform throughout the harvest season.  Let’s concentrate on low-volume applicators powered by a peristaltic pump. 

Understand lending options

Posted on March 19, 2018 in Dairy Performance

By Gary Sipiorski
Lenders of all kinds – banks, Farm Credit, credit unions, equipment manufacturers and others who make credit available to farmers – have many financing options. 

You may have heard many of the following terms, but it can be tough to understand what they mean for you.  Lenders live and breathe this terminology daily while farmers many only hear the terms once a year. 

Here are some of the more common lending “products” as they may be called by someone doing the financing.  Always remember, each lender will have his or her own policies, additional terminologies and methods.  In no way is should this list be considered complete.

Applicator winterization

Posted on December 4, 2017 in Dairy Performance

By Jon Urness
When it comes to inoculant application equipment, nothing is more frustrating than facing the first day of chopping in the spring with hay down and, when you try the applicator, all it does is make a puddle on the ground.  Now you’re scrambling to find parts or to cobble something together that will work until the parts arrive.  After all, when the hay is ready, you have to go no matter what.

Robots and feed

Posted on April 24, 2017 in Dairy Performance

By Laura Zagorski
As the trend of automation continues to rise in the dairy industry, so does the popularity and interest in robotic milking systems. Robotic milking systems can provide new opportunities in herd management.

TMR mixer checkups do matter

Posted on November 11, 2015 in Dairy Performance
By Rod Martin The total mixed ration (TMR) is an efficient and effective method to feed high-producing dairy cows and has been universally adopted on today’s dairy operations. Yet, many factors can lead to significant TMR inconsistency, resulting in suboptimal milk production, components and potential herd health issues.  Potential variances at each step of the

Robotic feed pusher: Future driver of dry matter intake?

Posted on July 11, 2014 in Dairy Performance
By Kary Babb In today’s dairy industry, technology is evermore integral to the management and care of dairy herds worldwide.  Increasingly, producers are saying goodbye to manual labor, allowing them to focus their time on other projects. First, we saw a huge change to the industry when robotic milking systems became available.  Since then, an

How-to video: Calibrating pressure-nozzle applicator systems

Posted on August 28, 2013 in Dairy Performance

UrnessBy Jon Urness
A little knowledge about application equipment can go a long way toward choosing the right equipment to buy, using such equipment, and applying the correct amount of product. Previously in this series of videos, we concentrated on ultra-low volume applicators and their maintenance.

How-to videos: Inoculant applicator maintenance and basic operation

Posted on May 24, 2013 in Dairy Performance

Urness

By Jon Urness 
Some things are simply not worth doing unless they’re done correctly. And that most certainly applies to the application of forage inoculants. That’s why Vita Plus has put together a couple very basic maintenance and operation videos on the Dohrmann Dohrect Enject ultra low volume applicator.