What’s the goal? More milk or reduced purchased feed costs?

Posted on September 29, 2021 in Dairy Performance
You’ve likely been told “variety A will produce more milk than variety B” when choosing your forage crop varieties. However, it usually doesn’t work exactly that way in the real world.

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.

Foliar feeding: Data-driven decisions affect ROI

Posted on July 15, 2021 in Dairy Performance

By Steve Murty
Foliar feeding – applying nutrients to the leaves of plants – can provide the next level of forage production with enhanced yield and quality benefits.  However, before you invest in a foliar feeding system, consider the following factors that may impact success.  Data-driven decisions will deliver a higher return on investment (ROI).

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.

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.

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.

2020 harvest: Go time is close!

Posted on August 6, 2020 in Dairy Performance

The 2020 corn crop looks good in much of the Midwest.  Vita Plus staff across the area provide a quick recap of this growing season and estimated corn silage harvest start dates.

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! 

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.

Small grain forages: How do they fit in the ration?

Posted on November 8, 2019 in Dairy Performance

By Pat Hoffman
Our traditional forage plans are frequently disrupted by alfalfa winterkill, uncooperative weather or the need for flexibility in manure applications.  Thus, we are seeing more small grain forages planted and used in our dairy rations.  A few subtle nuances to feeding small grain forages should be kept in mind during ration formulation.

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.