Everyone should use inoculant this year

Posted on May 19, 2022 in Forage Foundations
Dr. Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus – The value of silage has skyrocketed, which means the penalty of dry matter loss has also skyrocketed. In today’s markets, we cannot afford to skip inoculants.

What’s my farm’s manure worth?

Posted on May 19, 2022 in Forage Foundations
Ashley Blackburn, Vita Plus – Plants can’t distinguish between manure and commercial fertilizer, so taking advantage of these nutrients can help you manage fertilizer costs for crop production. Many factors can affect the nutrient composition of manure and the nutrient availability to plants. Understanding these factors can help you put a dollar value to your farm’s manure.

Feed and forage inventory management goes to new heights

Posted on March 10, 2022 in Forage Foundations
By Dr. Matt Gabler, regional business manager New technology now provides us with a safe, easy, insightful, and accurate means to evaluate and measure feed and forage inventory and management.  Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – often referred to as drones - aren’t just for the military to protect our freedom; they are useful tools in maximizing operations in a wide variety of applications – including forage and feed management. 

Reduce spoilage at the feedbunk

Posted on March 10, 2022 in Forage Foundations
By Dr. Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical service Laboratory analysis of yeast counts finds the majority of silages in the Midwest are undergoing active spoilage during the spring, summer and fall months.  However, when asked, most producers say they do not have a spoilage problem.  This hidden spoilage problem can be a major source of forage shrink and can also lead to decreased milk production, intakes, animal health, and farm profitability. 

Relationships key to 45 years of custom harvesting

Posted on November 5, 2021 in Forage Foundations
With Bob Headrick, Dias & Fragoso forage consultant A 45-year career in one industry gives a person a lot of perspective. Bob Headrick wouldn't describe his career as a forage custom harvester in California as smooth or easy. Several parallels can be drawn between the hurdles he faced and the challenges of today’s farms and custom harvesters. For Headrick, good relationships were key to overcoming obstacles.

5 times to communicate deliberately

Posted on June 7, 2021 in Forage Foundations

By Peter Coyne, Vita Plus sales manager
Preparing your team to work together, to think as one, to understand the importance of safe and efficient work as they harvest, and to store exceptional feed requires deliberate planning and communication.  It is never safe to assume everyone is on the same page.

Corn silage pricing considerations

Posted on June 18, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Randall Greenfield, Vita Plus dairy specialist
Producers often ask for help assigning fair prices to buy or sell forages. Corn silage is one of the easier forage values to calculate. Use these tips and considerations if you are trying to price your corn silage.

RFV or RFQ: Does it make a difference? – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on May 22, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
Nutritionists sometimes use RFV and RFQ to describe how a certain forage is feeding.  However, these two values mean more when you compare the relative dollar value of different forages in the market.

Pricing haylage and baleage – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on September 25, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
Several times a year, a member of the Vita Plus forage team gets a call that starts like this: “I’ve got a chance to buy some haylage from a neighbor, what should I pay for it?”

With wide variation in quality, moisture, and point of delivery, the answer can be a little daunting as it depends on a number of objective and subjective factors.  Let’s tackle the objective ones first because they’re fairly easy. 

Oxygen barrier plastic: How much does it save? – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on July 25, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
When we consider a technology that promises better forage quality, we often ask, “What does it cost?” 

In reality, a better question would be “How much does it save?”

Weighing the option to use oxygen barrier plastic under conventional plastic is a great example of that scenario.

Phantom feed thief – Gary Sipiorski, Vita Plus

Posted on May 23, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Gary Sipiorski, Vita Plus dairy development manager
If you compare all the milking cows in the world by volume per cow, nobody can beat the U.S. dairy herd.  In fact, the U.S. dairy cow is one of the most productive and efficient milk producers in the world, and this has only increased with time. 

Alfalfa checkoff program

Posted on May 23, 2017 in Forage Foundations

Alfalfa is the fourth most valuable field crop in the United States, and it’s also a key component of sustainable agricultural systems.  Despite these advantages, planted acres have decreased for more than two decades.  Beth Nelson, president of the National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA), believes this decrease can, in part, be attributed to the lack of public policy and research into alfalfa.

The Economy and Your Business – Gary Sipiorski, Vita Plus

Posted on March 16, 2017 in Forage Foundations

The picture of the dairy industry is changing fast with new technology, consolidation and volatile global markets.  Gary Sipiorski, Vita Plus dairy development manager, said this will have big impacts for custom harvesters too.

For starters, it means the financial clock is ticking, Sipiorski said during his presentation at the Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting.  He challenged attendees to develop an action plan to beat the clock.

Getting Paid For Your Work – David Krekeler, Krekeler Strother, S.C.

Posted on March 16, 2017 in Forage Foundations

David Krekeler, partner in Krekeler Strothers, S.C., said many of the principles in The Art of War by Sun Tzu can be applied to custom harvesting.  Just as Sun Tzu said, “The art of war is of vital importance to the state,” Krekeler said getting paid for your work is of vital importance to stay in business.

“All it takes is one or two people to not pay you and then you’re in debt,” Krekeler told Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting attendees.

Forage seeding…The hidden gem of federal crop insurance – Jenny Kilpatrick, Premier Insurance Solutions, LLC

Posted on November 29, 2016 in Forage Foundations

By Jenny Kilpatrick, Premier Insurance Solutions, LLC insurance agent
As a crop insurance agent in Wisconsin, each year I talk with producers about which crops they want to insure.  Corn, soybeans, wheat, oats and established hay are most frequently mentioned, but producers often forget about their valuable forage seeding crop. 

Producers practice good stewardship with plastic recycling

Posted on July 29, 2016 in Forage Foundations

A dumpster on a dairy farm wouldn’t normally turn heads, but a new type of dumpster is doing that very thing.

This dumpster’s sole purpose is to recycle used ag and silage plastics. Revolution Plastics, headquartered in Stuttgard, Arkansas, offers producers an environmentally friendly option to dispose of the plastics on their farms.