HMSC: Don’t forget the H

Posted on October 15, 2014 in
By Jon Urness Dairy producers have successfully harvested, stored and fed high moisture corn for many years. By now, most have the routine down pat. But when things go wrong, it’s often the lack of high moisture that causes problems.  Naturally, too much moisture can be a challenge as well, but the material won’t pack

Optimal packing density: Harvest is the time to get it right!

Posted on September 24, 2014 in Dairy Performance
By Barry Visser Achieving a tight pack and attaining a high density are extremely important aspects of harvesting and storing silage.  Reaching goals of high density is important for two main reasons: Density and dry matter (DM) content determine the porosity of the silage, which affects the rate at which air can enter the silage

Video: Evaluating corn silage processing in the field

Posted on August 19, 2014 in Dairy Performance
By Jon Rasmussen Trying to get a handle on corn silage processing while the choppers are moving has gained a great deal of interest in the recent years. A few considerations can help make the evaluation a little less subjective. Start by gathering a fresh corn silage sample in a 32-ounce container (a large soda

If not Shredlage, then what?

Posted on July 18, 2013 in Dairy Performance
By Jon Urness Shredlage™, Shredlage and more Shredlage.  When it comes to the latest technology in corn silage processing, Shredlage has dominated the headlines of the farm papers, been the focus of producer meetings, and become a hot topic among dairy producers and custom harvesters alike – and for good reason. This new approach to

Winterkilled alfalfa: Think through your options

Posted on May 9, 2013 in Dairy Performance
By Chris Wacek-Driver The past year’s weather has presented challenges in some areas as we look to this season’s forage crops.  To create the best-fit forage plan for your farm, make sure you have a good handle on the extent of winterkill in your fields and your forage needs for the upcoming months as well

Harvesting fall-seeded rye as silage

Posted on March 13, 2013 in Dairy Performance
By Jon Urness Spring harvesting of fall-seeded small grain grasses such as rye, triticale, and wheat as haylage has been popular in some areas of the country. Interest in this practice has spread in the Midwest as a source of forage for replacements and the opportunity to maximum forage yield by double-cropping in combination with

Whole forage team not on the same page? Now’s the time to get there.

Posted on March 1, 2013 in Dairy Performance
By Chris Wacek-Driver As March begins and we’re optimistic that the snow will soon melt, we’re looking forward to spring and summer and being back in the fields.  That includes putting together our forage plans.  But is everyone on the same page?  If we aren’t now, we surely won’t be come harvest season. Let’s fast-forward

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

Decrease dairy cattle feed losses and earn the A on your forage harvesting report card

Posted on October 2, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Jon Urness With today’s dairy cattle feed costs, we need to get the most out of our homegrown forages. That means it’s not just back to school for our kids, but also back the basics when it comes to forage harvesting and storing nutritional food for your cows. Let’s see if our efforts will

Harvest time: Watch your moistures

Posted on August 6, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Chris Wacek-Driver We’re already starting to chop corn silage in some parts of the Midwest. As you look to harvest this year’s crop, we once again remind you of the importance of closely monitoring your moisture levels. For corn silage, we recommend an optimum moisture level of 65 to 68 percent, but you’re generally

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

2012 alfalfa: A few more factors to keep in mind

Posted on May 18, 2012 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. John Goeser
 In my last article, we discussed 2012 alfalfa and the frost damage that occurred in some areas.  Now that it’s warming up, many of you are already in the fields cutting first crop – or maybe you’ve already finished.  As we look to the rest of the season, we have a few more factors to carefully evaluate as we put up high quality forages. 

Status of the 2012 alfalfa crop

Posted on April 30, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Dr. John Goeser Let’s take a look at the last few months.  First, we had a warm and dry winter.  Next, summer came early in the upper Midwest with March temperatures in the 80s.  Then the chilly temperatures came back for most of April.  We even saw frost return to some areas.  This roller

Bunker density: Are you ahead of the pack? Ask that question now

Posted on April 5, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By the Vita Plus Loyal Dairy Team Managing your forage program is a challenging job and has many components. Selecting the right hybrids, managing your equipment or custom harvester and selecting the proper harvest time are all very important, but, when the weather breaks and the tractors are running, are you paying close enough attention

Is snaplage a fit for your dairy?

Posted on September 29, 2011 in Dairy Performance

By Chris Wacek-Driver 
Have you been talking about putting up snaplage this year?  This forage has gained renewed interest with increased use of high capacity field harvesters equipped with kernel processors.  The decision to harvest snaplage (which consists of the corn grain, cob, husk and some upper plant parts) will depend on the dietary fit and production goals of your dairy.