VIDEO: Fall dormancy of alfalfa

Posted on May 19, 2022 in Forage Foundations
Randy Welch, CROPLAN - In this video, Randy Welch describes fall dormancy of alfalfa and provides tips for selecting varieties that best fit your fields and forage needs.

What can I grow in a notoriously wet field?

Posted on March 10, 2022 in Forage Foundations
By Ashley Blackburn, Vita Plus agronomy and forage specialist If you battle wet conditions in the same field year after year, you may consider planting an alternative crop to meet your farm’s forage needs.  Grasses can be a good fit in these conditions, but all grasses are not created equal.

Manage sorghum’s unique characteristics

Posted on March 10, 2022 in Forage Foundations
By Cody McCary, Vita Plus forage specialist Sorghum has proven useful as an alternative forage for many farms.  Here are some important items to consider when determining if sorghum may fit into your forage program.

Regional reports: 2021 harvest wrap-up across the Midwest

Posted on November 5, 2021 in Forage Foundations
Steve Murty, central Iowa Central Iowa saw many surprises this harvest season while maintaining a severe drought status.  Forage yields were excellent for the summer hay crops.  Many producers said this year’s soybean yields were the best yields ever.  Corn silage tons per acre were up over the previous couple years and harvesters were able

Looking at corn silage through the lens of true forage

Posted on November 4, 2021 in Forage Foundations
Forage – the foundation of a dairy cow’s diet – is heavily impacted by variations during the growing season.  The emerging concept of “true forage” can be a highly effective tool for both the nutritionist and dairy producer.

Select the right corn maturity for your growing area

Posted on November 4, 2021 in Forage Foundations
By Ashley Blackburn, Vita Plus agronomy and forage specialist One of the most important decisions you make each year is what corn variety to plant. Corn hybrids can be classified using relative maturity or growing degree days (GDD or GDU). These systems can help you determine which hybrid best fits your farm and goals.

Regional reports: The state of forages across the Midwest

Posted on August 17, 2021 in Forage Foundations

Vita Plus consultants from Minnesota to Ohio share their observations of the 2021 growing season and what they anticipate for this year's corn silage harvest.

Potential causes of lower crude protein in small grain silage this year

Posted on June 7, 2021 in Forage Foundations

By Ashley Blackburn, Vita Plus agronomy and forage specialist
Colder soil temperatures, frost and less rain than a normal growing season plus other stressors can affect crops in different ways, especially crude protein levels in small grain silages.

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

Posted on February 22, 2021 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Zach Sawall, Vita Plus dairy nutritionist and technical services specialist, and Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical support specialist
“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.

2021 Wisconsin Agronomy Update: Alfalfa and alternative forages

Posted on February 22, 2021 in Forage Foundations

Kevin Jarek and Dr. Matt Akins, University of Wisconsin Extension
During this year's virtual Wisconsin Agronomy Update, University of Wisconsin extension agents provided attendees with an update on Wisconsin’s alfalfa landscape and explained how alternative forages have increased in production to make up for lost alfalfa yields.

When’s the right time to seed forages in late summer?

Posted on August 17, 2020 in Forage Foundations

By La Crosse Seed
August and September give many producers across the Midwest another window of opportunity to establish perennial forages, and seeding in late summer offers several advantages compared to spring.

Alternative forages can provide the nutrients cows need

Posted on June 17, 2020 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Owen Mickley, Vita Plus dairy specialist
Last year many farmers planted alternative forage species and put up some "unfamiliar" feeds. When strategically incorporated into the feeding plan, alternative forages can provide us the opportunity to fill in the gaps without leaving milk on the table.

What’s the best crop for my soil?

Posted on April 14, 2020 in Forage Foundations

By Steve Murty, Vita Plus forage products specialist
Customers ask this question each year before planting season, and it may still be asked several times per year on the same acre. To answer this question, you need to examine the various components that make up the soil environment.

Tips for sorghum forage management

Posted on April 14, 2020 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Matt Akins, University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant scientist
Last year’s growing season was difficult for many forage growers, and several producers made the decision to try sorghum forages with varying success. If you are looking to continue growing sorghum forages this year, keep these tips in mind.

Alternative forages: One cut doesn’t fit all – Steve Murty, Vita Plus

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations

Frustrating planting, growing and harvest conditions have encouraged more farms in the Midwest to look at alternative forage sources to feed their livestock. If grown and harvested correctly, these crops can have great nutritional value.

“They said…” Lessons learned in the 2019 hemp harvest – Peter Hughes, Red Barn Consulting Inc.

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations

Hemp is now legal to grow in the U.S., and we continue to learn more about the plant each year. The tough, fibrous plant is traditionally hand-harvested, but Hughes explained how it can be harvested mechanically.