Work safely in the winter

Posted on January 29, 2021 in Dairy Performance

By Chris Belz
Hard work and a dairy farm go hand in hand, but we need to stay healthy to care for our families and our animals.  Here are a few reminders for safe farm work in the winter.

Stay safe: That text can wait

Posted on January 14, 2021 in Dairy Performance

By Kate McAndrews
Even texters and drivers hate texters and drivers (in farming too).  Many may be driving less frequently right now, but we should continue to challenge ourselves and each other to reduce our distracted driving habits because each of us is so critically important to those around us – both on the farm and at home.  Everyone around the world thrives on communication and efficiency, but we also need to thrive on safety. 

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.

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.

Beware of nitrates this spring

Posted on March 25, 2020 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian
We often associate nitrate concerns with drought-stressed plants, but very wet conditions can also stress plants and cause them to accumulate nitrates.  Furthermore, high nitrate levels aren’t just a concern during the harvest season.  We are hearing reports of silages with higher-than-normal nitrate levels this spring.  Last year’s tough harvest season resulted in some crops going into the silo frozen, which means they did not ferment.  As the weather warms, they begin to “thaw” and undergo a fermentation, which also means there is risk for silo gas formation.  Please, be careful! 

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: 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.

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.

Know these symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite

Posted on January 30, 2019 in Dairy Performance

The extreme cold weather and wind chills you are dealing with are dangerous. 

Keep this list handy and watch for any symptoms of hypothermia, frostbite, trench foot, and chilblains that may occur in your family members, employees, or yourself.

Safely warm newborn calves

Posted on January 3, 2019 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Noah Litherland
Every one of us in the dairy industry has an inborn fondness for cattle, and value newborn calves and the promise they bring. Let’s get wise about thermal support for our calves in the first 24 hours of their lives during cold weather.

The good, bad and deadly of silo gases

Posted on September 17, 2018 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian
As producers fill silos, bunkers or bags, I often get calls about gases coming off the silage.  During fermentation, many different gases are formed.  For the most past, this is very normal.  I expect gas formation to occur for roughly a week after a silo is sealed, although some silos can produce gas longer.  While some gases are harmless, others are deadly.  You can never be too cautious when it comes to silo gas.

‘Avalanche!’ – A word we don’t want to hear you say

Posted on February 15, 2018 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Michelle Windle
Many farms have a limited amount of space on the feed pad to store their homegrown forages.  This leads some producers to store multiple crops in close proximity.  January and February mark the time of year when many producers move from one crop to another.  Although avalanches can occur in a wide array of situations, it is especially common to see an avalanche at the interface between two crops.  This creates a dangerous situation.

Be safe around manure pits

Posted on October 18, 2016 in Dairy Performance

By Scott Hall
Agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries to work in when it comes to injuries and fatalities in the work place. In 2013, 23.3 fatalities per 100,000 workers were reported in the agriculture industry alone. Although no shortage of dangerous jobs exists in agriculture, one of the more hazardous areas to work in or near is the manure pit. This is a hazard many farm workers and family members can be exposed to, specifically the gases given off, and, if proper safety measures are neglected, death can result from exposure.

Safety and care in the bitter cold

Posted on January 6, 2014 in Dairy Performance
Working in these extremely cold temperatures is not easy.  Please do your best to work safely as you care for your animals.  Here are a few reminders from your Vita Plus team for dealing with harsh winter conditions on the farm: For your team By Scott Hall, Vita Plus safety director You can’t take care

Safety is a part of your business too

Posted on March 29, 2013 in Dairy Performance

By Scott Hall 
Farm safety has always been a concern to protect workers and family members. In the past, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has placed most of its energy on construction and general industry.