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

Help transition cows beat the heat

Posted on June 29, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Rod Martin It’s been a hot week throughout the Midwest and it looks like temperatures will remain high for the next few days.  Plus, it’s probably a safe bet that this won’t be the last heat wave of the summer. With that in mind, don’t forget about your transition cows.  Hot weather brings about

Dairy stockmanship: Treat her like a lady

Posted on June 15, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Jim Lewis I learned the concept of stockmanship at a very young age as I helped my grandpa bring up cows from the pasture.  After years of working in the dairy industry, the importance of correct animal handling is even clearer to me. Stockmanship is defined as the interaction between man and animal. Poor

Antibiotics in agriculture: What is their place?

Posted on June 8, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Dr. Al Schultz Since they became a huge part of human medicine in the 1940s, antibiotics have saved millions of lives, but we are getting increasingly worried because they don’t work as well as they used to.  Although the pharmaceutical companies are developing new strategies to address this issue,  the man-versus-bacteria war continues onward.

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

On-farm biosecurity: Reduce risk

Posted on April 16, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Ann Hoskins Biosecurity refers to those measures taken to keep diseases out of populations, herds or groups of animals where they do not currently exist or to limit the spread of disease within the herd. The responsibility for farm-level biosecurity belongs to the herd owner and it starts at home with your protocols. A

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

Keep dry cows cool too

Posted on March 23, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Dr. Bruno Amaral With an uncommonly warm March, we’re already starting to think about keeping cows cool.  Now is our chance to strategize and get ahead of the heat. We all know the value of heat stress abatement for milking cows as temperatures spike in the summer and milk production drops.  But the value

Get ahead of ketosis

Posted on March 14, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Dr. Neil Michael Managing fresh cow performance is a challenge.  When ketosis becomes an issue, cows start slowly and you can expect significant losses due to direct treatment costs and lost future income. Contributing factors Much of the variation in how well cows go through transition can be explained by changes in cows, feedstuffs

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

Inoculants and dry matter recovery: What’s at stake?

Posted on February 13, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Chris Wacek-Driver “Quality forages…where sound nutrition starts” has become a founding principle for Vita Plus consultants as we work with you to put up high quality forages. A key to reaching that goal is improving aerobic stability by inoculating with the world-leading Lactobacillus buchneri 40788.  Benefits of this inoculant include less heating, fewer yeasts

Effective team meetings at the farm level – Balancing different personalities

Posted on January 30, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Bob Hagenow Team meetings are always interesting because everyone brings different experiences and communication styles to the table.  Naturally, this can lead to conflict as different personalities favor different approaches for solving challenges.  It can also serve as a great opportunity to capitalize on the different perspectives each person brings to the team.  In

Effective team meetings at the farm level – Meeting structure

Posted on January 12, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Bob Hagenow We can’t deny that things like email, texting and Facebook have increased our ways to connect with one another.  But are we truly communicating with each other to get things accomplished and avoid mistakes?  With all the tools we have to “talk” with one another, we still gain great value in bringing