6 steps to get the most from your corn silage

Posted on August 9, 2021 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian
High purchased feed costs mean farms must get as much nutritional value as possible from their homegrown forages. These six steps can help you put up high-quality feed while limiting your potential for shrink and spoilage.

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.

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. 

Moisture testing saves money each and every day

Posted on April 12, 2021 in Dairy Performance

By Nathan Hrnicek
Forage moisture is tested daily on some farms while other farms wait for a nutritionist visit.  Farms tend to focus on it more during harvest, but harvest testing strategies also vary farm-to-farm.  However, an accurate reading of moisture content is absolutely necessary at several points throughout the year on a dairy farm.

6 ways to get the most from your corn silage

Posted on August 17, 2020 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian
Much of the Midwest will be chopping corn silage in the next couple of weeks.  These six steps can help you put up high-quality feed while limiting your potential for shrink and spoilage.

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.

Video: Managing high moisture corn

Posted on November 19, 2019 in Dairy Performance

High moisture corn is a high-value crop, making it especially important to prevent spoilage and keep as much feed in the silo as possible. Stephanie Jens, Lallemand Animal Nutrition, joins Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus, to offer a few tips for storing and feeding high moisture corn.

Video: Harvest for high moisture corn

Posted on November 2, 2019 in Dairy Performance

The challenging weather conditions of 2019 will likely result in more high-moisture corn harvested and stored this year.  Stephanie Jens, Lallemand Animal Nutrition, joins Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus, to offer a few tips for harvesting and storing this high-value feed, including choosing the right inoculant, keeping inoculant lines from freezing, and grinding the corn to optimize starch digestibility.

10 ways to get more milk from homegrown forages

Posted on October 15, 2019 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian
All dairy producers share this goal:  Get more milk out of a homegrown forage and spend less on purchased feeds.  When it comes to forages, many factors – such as weather, soil depth and rainfall -  are out of our hands.  Here are 10 things we can do to improve forage quality and, hopefully, the milk production that comes from these feeds.

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.

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.

Inoculants: Claims you can count on

Posted on August 22, 2018 in Dairy Performance

By Jon Urness
Here in the land of wide open spaces and free markets, it’s fairly easy to put together a silage additive simply by choosing a few likely characters for bacteria, mixing them in a bottle, slapping on a label, and touting it as being well researched and proven – with little or no interference from regulators.

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.

Low-density silage piles equal lost dollars

Posted on May 18, 2018 in Dairy Performance

By Nathan Hrnicek
Field work has begun and we’ll be cutting first-crop alfalfa in no time.  It’s amazing how much work can get done in such a short amount of time, but one process that should receive adequate time is silage packing. 

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.