Proper summer annual forage harvest methods

Posted on August 21, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Steve Murty, Vita Plus forage products specialist
This growing season, many producers had to plant new forages they weren't accustomed to growing or harvesting. These summer annuals can be harvested for silage, wet baled, or used for grazing, but they also come with an unfamiliar challenge.

Planting 2019: “The sins of planting may haunt you all season” – Jon Erickson, Mycogen Seeds

Posted on April 11, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Erickson, Mycogen Seeds commerical agronomist
Uniform plant emergence is one important factor to grow a successful crop each year. Hopefully you don't have an issue with emergence, but if you do, use these guidelines to help you work through this process.

Can you feed reduced-lignin alfalfa with BMR corn? – Barry Visser, Vita Plus

Posted on February 1, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Barry Visser, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist
With the introduction of reduced-lignin alfalfa, some producers wonder if pairing it with BMR corn will result in too much digestible fiber.  Although research is limited, some producers are having success with this feeding strategy.

Low-lignin alfalfa – What have we learned so far? – Kate McAndrews, Vita Plus

Posted on September 26, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Kate McAndrews, Vita Plus regional sales manager
Low-lignin alfalfa is a current "hot topic" for many producers, but what results are we seeing in the field?

Ensiling unique forage byproducts – Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus

Posted on July 24, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
Ensiling unique forage byproducts has been practiced for thousands of years.  While it is more common in other parts of the world, it may become more common in the Midwest as producers look to save money.

Alfalfa and corn seeded together – John Grabber, USDA ARS

Posted on March 23, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By John Grabber, USDA ARS research agronomist
Alfalfa has typically been replaced in rotations with corn, partly due to the greater dry matter yield.  However, new research has found interseeding alfalfa into corn can jumpstart production of alfalfa the following year and increase yields.

2018 Wisconsin agronomy update meeting recap

Posted on January 25, 2018 in Forage Foundations

Each year, the University of Wisconsin Department of Agronomy and UW-Extension holds Wisconsin Agronomy Update Meetings throughout Wisconsin.  Department professors provide seed hybrid and variety performance, review last year's growing season, and give their recommendations for field crop production. 

Evaluating cereal forages from fall to spring – Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus

Posted on November 20, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist
While the weather allowed most corn silage and crops to be harvested before a killing frost set in, the planting of winter cereal forages were delayed or not accomplished.  If you are questioning if it is too late to plant your cereal crops or if they will make it, this article seeks to provide some tips on winter cereal crop evaluation.

Feeding cereal forages – Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus

Posted on July 25, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist
In some ways, it seems like an unusual concept to write about feeding lactating dairy cows grass forages, but it shouldn’t since they were born to eat grass.  Furthermore, around the world, pasture grasses, grass hay and grass silage are the predominant forages fed to dairy cows. 

But here in the upper Midwest, our forages of choice since the 1940s have been alfalfa and corn silage.  While feeding more cereal grasses, such as triticale, rye or oat silage, seems new to us, it’s certainly nothing new to a dairy cow.

Wide Swathing and Low-Lignin Alfalfa – Dr. Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin-Extension

Posted on March 16, 2017 in Forage Foundations

In the last 80 years, milk production and the dairy industry have experienced considerable advancements.  To keep up with this progress, Dr. Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin-Extension, said we will need to continue to innovate and use technology to provide the highest quality alfalfa possible.

Utilizing the hybrid seed corn spreadsheet – Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus

Posted on January 26, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus dairy technology specialist
Many farmers can still remember buying seed corn from a neighbor because he was a seed dealer and right next door.  Those days are long gone and producers now have to select from a variety of seeds that will give them the best return on their land while meeting all of their livestock’s needs.  This requires using more university-based research to sort through the many available hybrids.

Reduced-lignin alfalfa – Dr. Daniel Undersander, University of Wisconsin-Extension

Posted on November 29, 2016 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Daniel Undersander, University of Wisconsin-Extension forage agronomist
Lignin is the key plant cell wall component that gives a plant strength to stand up and prevent water from leaking during transport from the root to the leaves.  This may be good for the plant, but lignin also reduces plant cell wall digestibility in mammals.  For these reasons, we want to find the proper balance of lignin to support the plant without drastically reducing digestibility.

Use of fall-grown oats in dairy cropping systems – Dr. Wayne Coblentz, USDA-ARS

Posted on July 29, 2016 in Forage Foundations
By Dr. Wayne Coblentz, USDA-ARS agronomist and dairy scientist
Recently, we’ve seen new or renewed interest in alternative forage crops, double-cropping and cover crops. Work by the USDA-ARS and University of Wisconsin staff at the UW-Marshfield Agricultural Research Station has focused primarily on using fall-grown oats.   

Regional report: Spring planting and alfalfa progress – John Brantsen, Mark Case, Jon Rasmussen and Jerry Ruetten, Vita Plus

Posted on May 26, 2016 in Forage Foundations

For the most part, this crop season is starting nicely throughout the Midwest.  Here’s a look at corn planting progress and alfalfa conditions as of May 17 at several points in the Vita Plus market area.

Q&A: Real world experience with fungicides – Justin Brown, Ag Partners

Posted on March 22, 2016 in Forage Foundations

Justin Brown is an agronomist with Ag Partners Coop based in Goodhue, Minnesota.  He works with producers throughout southeast Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

Regional report: Alfalfa winterkill outlook – Jerry Ruetten, John Brantsen and Mark Case, Vita Plus

Posted on March 22, 2016 in Forage Foundations

Regional reports from Iowa to Michigan on the outlook of winterkill.