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.

Better digestibility with reduced particle size?

Posted on May 18, 2021 in Dairy Performance

By Wyatt Smith
In the last few years, we’ve taken a more critical look at the relationship between forage fiber particle size and forage digestibility.  Researchers at the Miner Institute in New York have explored the concept of reducing particle size of forages with lower fiber digestibility to improve animal performance. 

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. 

Grass can fit well in your forage inventories and nutrient management plan

Posted on April 28, 2021 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Zach Sawall and Pat Hoffman
“What else can we fit into our crop rotation to get more tonnage from the acres we have to work?” Italian ryegrass can be an effective forage option whether you’re looking to rescue a winterkilled alfalfa field or wanting to put up a grass forage.

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.

Sizing up your forage future

Posted on December 17, 2020 in Dairy Performance

By Nathan Hrnicek
If you are deciding to build a new forage storage site, such as a pile or bunker, it is important to consider the space required for these structures, the amount of forage you need at the present time and in the future, and your desired feedout rate.  Additionally, adding adequate apron space is another component often overlooked.

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.

Waves of Change: Vita Plus Dairy Summit Recap

Posted on January 30, 2020 in Dairy Performance

During Vita Plus Dairy Summit in December, attendees explored many “waves of change” in the dairy industry.  If you did not attend the event – or did attend and are looking for a refresher – browse the topics in this post to access the full event e-news.

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.

Video: Safety first and ALWAYS

Posted on October 22, 2019 in Dairy Performance

The most important thing you will do today is make it back safely to your family or friends tonight. Safety is a value at Vita Plus and we remind all our customers, staff, and industry partners to be safe during forage harvest and throughout the year.  In this video, Stephanie Jens, Lallemand Animal Nutrition, joins Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus, to offer a few safety tips to follow when working around forage bunkers and piles.

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.

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.

3 ways to cope with high-mycotoxin feeds

Posted on April 1, 2019 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Eric Schwab
Mycotoxins are present in a wide range of livestock feeds. While the focus has been primarily on cereal grains, haylage and hay can also contain mycotoxins.  Grain byproducts, such as distiller’s grains and corn gluten feed, can have mycotoxin concentrations two to three times greater than the parent material as little mycotoxin destruction occurs during processing and concentration occurs in the byproduct stream.  Testing for mycotoxins should be considered when symptoms of toxicity exist among a large population of animals on your farm and cannot be readily explained.