Is crude protein in corn silage decreasing?

Posted on July 30, 2015 in Forage Foundations
By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist It is not uncommon to receive a forage analysis for corn silage that reports a crude protein content less than 6.5 percent.  In fact, we sometimes see crude protein content of corn silage dip below 6.0 percent. In contrast, when we examine crude protein book values for

Getting to know new low lignin alfalfa varieties (Chris Wacek-Driver)

Posted on March 18, 2015 in Forage Foundations
By Chris Wacek-Driver, Vita Plus forage program manager Lignin is the primary fiber component that reduces fiber digestibility in ruminant diets. Because alfalfa contains high lignin concentrations (greater than 6.0 percent), alfalfa fiber digestibility is often compromised as compared to low lignin forages such as BMR corn silage (with a 2-percent lignin concentration). As a

12-point check for small grain forages (Pat Hoffman)

Posted on March 18, 2015 in Forage Foundations
By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist Producers used to only plant small grains in the spring for forage when they faced alfalfa winterkill or needed a companion crop for alfalfa seedings. Times have changed and small grain forages are now commonly and diversely used to augment a wide array of forage needs.  In

Assessing spring alfalfa stands (Stan McGraw)

Posted on March 18, 2015 in Forage Foundations
By Stan McGraw, Vita Plus Dodgeville agronomist Fall and spring are the best times to assess alfalfa stands and evaluate the stands for yield potential in the cropping system.  Fall is a great time to decide if alfalfa field needs to be replaced or left for another year. During spring, we try to assess winterkill,

Fungicides on corn: Worth the investment? (Jon Urness)

Posted on August 4, 2014 in Forage Foundations
By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist The strategy of applying fungicides to growing corn has received a lot of attention in recent years and producers have been asking themselves, “Should we get on board with this or is it a waste of my crop input dollars?” Like many new technologies, the answer seems

Slow start to spring (Diane Beels and Stan McGraw)

Posted on April 21, 2014 in Forage Foundations
Diane Beels, Vita Plus Loyal agronomist Central Wisconsin’s progress report for the spring of 2014 is “quiet as a mouse” at this time.  We were getting down to the last of our snow banks when the rain turned to snow again.  We have not had any tillage work in the fields, just preparation for it. 

Fall-seeded small grains: More than just an emergency forage? (Jon Urness)

Posted on January 9, 2014 in Forage Foundations
Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist Some dairy producers in the eastern U.S., particularly in areas of eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New York, regularly fall-seed rye and triticale as mainstays of their lactating dairy rations. Conversely, here in the upper Midwest, such crops are generally regarded as emergency forages reserved for times when