Inoculant storage and transporation to make the most of the investment

Posted on August 13, 2018 in Dairy Performance

An incredible number of forage management practices must go right to produce quality feed for livestock.  As corn silage harvest approaches, you need to make sure you have enough bacterial inoculant on-hand before you head out to the fields.  Now is the time to double-check your inventory.

Wise investments in heifer raising

Posted on August 8, 2018 in Dairy Performance

By Cody Yanzick and Ann Hoskins
Calves are naturally herd animals, but, on many farms, the transition period is the first time they are grouped with others, bringing about a set of challenges that need specialized attention.  Limiting stress on calves can offer some of the greatest paybacks in terms of health and performance.

Inoculant mythbusters: Clearing the smoke and mirrors

Posted on April 18, 2018 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Michelle Windle
Each year, inoculant companies and their representatives vie for your business.  Decisions should be made based on proven facts rather than marketing, smoke and mirrors.  Therefore, we’d like to share some myths we’ve heard as well as some scientific responses to help “clear the smoke.”

Make the best mineral decisions for cow health and your wallet

Posted on March 12, 2018 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Mat Faulkner
In the past, we balanced micronutrients using the “holiday pie theory” – if some is good, more is better. 

But that isn’t the case anymore.  In fact, overfeeding micronutrients can not only be costly to the producer, but it can also be deadly to the animal.

The Right Focus: Vita Plus Dairy Summit 2017 Recap

Posted on January 8, 2018 in Dairy Performance

More than 330 dairy producers, Vita Plus consultants and industry peers came together December 6 and 7 for Vita Plus Dairy Summit 2017 in Madison, Wisconsin.  Follow the links in this post to access full event coverage, including speakers' PowerPoint presentations, articles, videos and more.

Understand milk fat depression and prevent it in your cows

Posted on December 22, 2016 in Dairy Performance

By Stacy Nichols
A shift in the metabolism of dietary oils in the rumen is now recognized as the major cause of milk fat depression.  The cause of this shift is related to two main factors: the amount of vegetable oil in the diet and rumen pH.

Sweat the small stuff with your dairy cow ration

Posted on September 23, 2016 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Silvia Onetti
Everybody has heard the phrase, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”  We say it to focus more on the big picture and less on the fine details. 

Copper concentration in dairy rations: Should we be concerned?

Posted on August 22, 2016 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Zach Sawall
A persistent concern on many dairy farms is the rising copper concentration levels in cattle liver samples. According to Dr. Jeremy Schefers, University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, the concern stems from the common usage of copper sulfate in footbaths to control digital dermatitis and the subsequent higher copper concentrations in manure and on cropland.

Don’t let summer heat spoil your feeds

Posted on July 13, 2016 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Michelle Windle
The sun is shining, the smell of grilled brats is in the air, ice cream is on my mind and the kids are laughing as they run through the sprinkler. 

There’s no denying it.  It’s summertime and with warmer temperatures come TMR heating and spoiling.

The 10 commandments for feeding cows during low milk prices

Posted on June 24, 2016 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Eric Schwab
When times of plenty pass and margins shrink, pencils are sharpened and costs are scrutinized. Savings need to be found and efficiencies gained. Here are opportunities to fine-tune your operation.

DCAD: Important for dry and lactating dairy cattle

Posted on September 2, 2015 in Dairy Performance
By Dr. Eric Schwab When we say “electrolytes” on a dairy farm, one of the first things that come to mind is feeding electrolytes to scouring calves.  Electrolytes play an important role in the cow’s diet as well.  When we’re talking about electrolytes for adult animals, the term we commonly use is DCAD. Electrolytes are

Seek proof of a product’s value

Posted on September 18, 2014 in Dairy Performance
By Dr. Al Schultz Whether it is a feed additive, a management practice, an equipment purchase or a whole myriad of inputs for your dairy, you are faced with choices.  But which of the choices is the best investment?  How do you know? It is jokingly said that if you feed multiple products that all

Fly control strategies for dairy calves and heifers

Posted on April 21, 2014 in Dairy Performance
By Dr. Noah Litherland Fly control is critically important on all livestock farms.  Flies negatively impact dairy calves in two primary ways: Spread disease such as E. Coli and Salmonella Reduce animal comfort, resulting in increased stress and reduced efficiency of growth The key with any fly management strategy is to start early in the

Summer’s here: Is your fly control program in place?

Posted on June 13, 2013 in Dairy Performance
By Ann Hoskins With this summer's slow start, it might have been easy to push off fly control for another week.  But it's June and that means you need to have your strategy in place.  Having an established plan can save you lots of time and energy this summer. According to research from Purdue University,

Canola meal a good protein source in dairy cow diets

Posted on April 24, 2013 in Dairy Performance
By Dr. Eric Schwab In our never-ending quest to improve economic returns and efficiencies, we’re always looking at how we can include cost-effective feed ingredients in the diet without sacrificing production.  A recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Dairy Science shows that canola meal can fill that niche. The analysis looked at 88 diets

Why ship water when you get paid for solids?

Posted on February 27, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Dr. Eric Schwab Consumers and processors in the Upper Midwest demand solids to produce high quality dairy products. But how do we produce high solids milk without giving up production? First, let’s take a step back to understand why milk solids play such a big role in the milk check.  World demand for dairy