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.

Sowing and growing good employees – Peter Coyne, Vita Plus

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations

The challenge many employers face is finding and retaining good employees. Coyne said the two factors driving employee retention are culture and engagement.

Farm labor update: Tips for employment law & immigration compliance – Kevin Paul, Range PC

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations

The responsibility to ensure your employees can legally work in the United States falls on your shoulders as their employer. Make sure you have the correct paperwork to continue operating your business.

“Failing to plan is planning to fail” – Peter Coyne, Vita Plus

Posted on July 25, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Peter Coyne, Vita Plus dairy service specialist

Ben Franklin said it well.

Having a well-planned corn silage harvest is essential if we want to maximize forage quality for the herd in the next year.  On a good day, custom operators chop about 100 acres of corn silage with one chopper.  For a 1,000-cow dairy, each day of chopping results in about a month’s worth of corn silage for the milking herd. 

Developing Your Harvest Team – Peter Coyne, Vita Plus

Posted on March 16, 2017 in Forage Foundations

As rural populations decrease, farms and harvesting crews will have to be competitive to attract new employees to their teams.

Workforce demographics are rapidly changing, explained Peter Coyne, Vita Plus dairy service specialist, during his presentation at the recent Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting.  He said more “help wanted” signs are posted now than 1980 and the unemployment rate continues to decrease.  Every day in the U.S., 10,000 people turn 65 and exit the workforce, but the same number of people turn 21 every day.  That means 10,000 jobs are in transition between someone with years of experience and someone who is brand new.

Hacker: Testing the Limits During Harvest

Posted on February 22, 2013 in Forage Foundations
  Click to download presentation Riverview LLP, headquartered in Minnesota, milks 45,000 cows at seven different sites. Putting up forage at this scale requires a well-oiled machine. Andy Hacker oversees trucking, commodities and forage harvesting for Riverview. During his presentation at the Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting, he said it all begins with core values.

Sipiorski: Clutching Key Financial Factors

Posted on December 4, 2012 in Forage Foundations
Just as tractors aren’t what they used to be, the custom harvester business has grown more complex. The four gears on the old tractor kept in the corner of the machine shed aren’t enough to meet the needs of your business today. Gary Sipiorski with Vita Plus helps shift the gears through your custom harvesting

Griswold: The Biggest Problem with Silage? – SAFETY!

Posted on December 4, 2012 in Forage Foundations
Dr. Ken Griswold has made a career out of forages as a part of the Penn State Cooperative Extension dairy team. While that does mean he’s an expert in the field, it doesn’t mean he’s immune to the dangers that come with putting up high quality forages. This past September, Griswold was working in an