How will the warm and dry winter affect spring forages?

Posted on April 24, 2024 in Forage Foundations
By Steve Murty, Vita Plus forage specialist Midwestern temperatures in the last 90 days have been warmer than typical years.  Occasionally, I custom-plant some perennial and annual forage crops in central Iowa.  On February 15, my phone started ringing with requests to start seeding.  Producers wanted to capitalize on the warmer temperatures and asked, “Will

Does feeding dry corn silage ‘corn-cern’ you?

Posted on November 29, 2023 in Forage Foundations
By Paulina Letelier, Ph.D., Vita plus | Many farms throughout the Midwest reported harvesting drier-than-ideal corn silage this season. Here are some strategies to get the most from these dry corn silages.

Extend forage inventories without losing milk or increasing costs

Posted on August 22, 2023 in Forage Foundations
By Wyatt Smith, Vita Plus | With much of the Midwest facing limited rainfall and dry conditions, expected forage yield and forage inventories are an area of concern.  Many producers have raised the question of how to best extend current forage inventories with the goal of minimal impact to milk output and feed costs.

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

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.

Drought-stressed corn: Should you high-chop?

Posted on August 17, 2021 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical services
Due to the severity and timing of drought in parts of the Midwest, multiple conditions are occurring simultaneously: (1) The plant’s growth is stunted during the grain-fill stage, leading to low starch content, (2) dry conditions have led to plants that are at the right dry matter (DM) for harvesting, and (3) the bottoms of corn stalks are accumulating nitrates.  Evaluate your crop and forage inventories to determine if high-chopping is a wise choice for your farm.

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.

How do we feed low-moisture corn silage? – Dr. Darin Bremmer, Vita Plus

Posted on September 26, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Darin Bremmer, Vita Plus regional sales manager
Parts of our market area have experienced extreme flooding, while others have seen drought.  In many of these situations, producers will have to work through their unique challenges to harvest and feed low-moisture corn silage.

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