Planter technology advancements – Dr. Brian Luck, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Posted on March 23, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Brian Luck, University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor and extension specialist
Planter technology has advanced rapidly over the last five to 10 years.  New planter technologies are being designed to improve seed placement and overall planting operation efficiency.

Bringing applicators out of hibernation – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on March 23, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
In a couple months, we'll be counting on our forage inoculant applicators to apply inoculants reliably and accurately.  How we ease them into service could have a huge impact on how they perform throughout the harvest season.

Preseason planter maintenance with Don Seltzner, Mid-State Equipment

Posted on March 23, 2018 in Forage Foundations

When spring comes around, farmers get anxious to get the planter out and hit the fields.  Before you can start putting seed in the ground, make sure you give your planter a proper preseason check.  Don Seltzner, Mid-State Equipment, said these are some of the key areas you should check before hitting the fields.

To own or not to own?

Posted on November 20, 2017 in Forage Foundations

Most all dairy producers share similar headaches during harvest season whether they own their own mchinery or hire custom harvesters.  So what is the better option?  Two producers shared their thoughts and insight on the strategies that best fit their business model.

Applicator winterization – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on November 20, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
Nothing is more frustrating than being in the middle of harvest in the spring and when you go to use the applicator, all it does is leave a puddle on the ground.  Take a few minutes to properly clean your equipment this fall and it could save you hours in the spring.

Comparing high moisture corn processing equipment – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on September 25, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
If you have adequate corn silage kernel processing, yet a high fecal starch percentage, you may need to look into your grain source and high moisture corn processing equipment for answers.

Two of the most common types of high moisture corn processing equipment available are hammer mills and roller mills.  Either can adequately process corn, but the choice sometimes boils down to availability.

Ash content and forage quality – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on July 25, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
We’re picking up a lot of dirt with harvest equipment, which is reflected in forage ash content, according to Dr. Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The result of high ash content can mean a loss of up to 350 pounds in milk per ton of hay forage dry matter (DM).

VIDEO: Preparing your processor

Posted on July 25, 2017 in Forage Foundations

With corn silage harvest just around the corner, now is the perfect time to assess your kernel processor before the wheels get rolling.  In this edition of Forage Foundations, we walk through the areas you should check on your kernel processor and how to inspect them before harvest begins.

7 preseason checks for pressure pump applicators – Dwain Ewald, Vita Plus

Posted on May 23, 2017 in Forage Foundations

Editor’s note:  This article is geared toward systems manufactured by Dohrmann Enterprises, Inc., including the DE-100, DE-55, DE-45, DE-25, or DE-9, DE-8, DE-7 and DE-6.

By Dwain Ewald, Vita Plus Gagetown customer service
Whether it’s a pressure pump applicator on the bailer or at the silo blower, cleanliness is one of the first things I always check before use.  You don’t want to go through all the steps of cleaning and calibrating the system to find out the tips and filters are plugged with sediment and debris still in the tank.

Keeping the Wheels Turning During Harvest – Don Seltzner, Mid-State Equipment

Posted on March 16, 2017 in Forage Foundations

When harvest season gets rolling, you don’t want an equipment issue to bring your operation to a halt in the middle of the field.  At the Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting 2017, Don Seltzner and Neal Sennhenn, Mid-State Equipment, said a preseason check and routine maintenance will help prevent many common machinery issues and keep the wheels turning during harvest.

Drones as Tools – Mitch and Zach Fiene, DMZ Aerial

Posted on March 16, 2017 in Forage Foundations

“Technology doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated,” said Mitch Fiene.  “It should make you more efficient at what you do.”

During their presentation at the Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting, Mitch shared some of the tools he and his cousin, Zach Fiene, are developing at their company, DMZ Aerial.

Phones and Tablets – Terry Seubert, Vita Plus

Posted on March 16, 2017 in Forage Foundations

Whether you like it or not, mobile devices are a part of our everyday lives.  Selecting the right mobile device can help custom harvesters manage their businesses efficiently.  During his Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting presentation, Terry Seubert, Vita Plus IT services development coordinator, outlined several important things to consider when buying a new mobile device.

Tools to Expand Your Forage Team – John Brantsen, Vita Plus

Posted on March 16, 2017 in Forage Foundations

When you’re facing tight harvest windows and a lot of fields to chop, putting up the highest quality forages is no small task.  As John Brantsen, Vita Plus dairy specialist, discussed during his session at the Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting, improving forage quality can significantly impact profitability.

Satellite Imagery: From Space to the Field – Dr. Phil Townsend, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Posted on March 16, 2017 in Forage Foundations

The space age has come to the farm.  Digital imagery – from satellites, drones and other devices – is becoming more readily available and easily accessible with each day.

10 maintenance steps to keep your applicator flowing – Dwain Ewald, Vita Plus

Posted on January 26, 2017 in Forage Foundations

Editor’s note:  In addition to multiple customer service responsibilities at Vita Plus Gagetown in Gagetown, Michigan, Dwain Ewald takes the lead on maintenance services for customers’ forage inoculant applicators. 

By Dwain Ewald, Vita Plus Gagetown customer service
With cold temperatures and piles of snow on the ground, it’s sometimes hard to think about and prepare for the upcoming forage season.  However, doing a little maintenance now can save a lot of time when things get rolling in the spring.  In this article, I will focus on the maintenance of the DE-1000 and DE-1008.5 forage inoculant applicator units manufactured by Dohrmann Enterprises, Inc.  Maintenance steps are similar for both machines.

The state of Shredlage in 2016 – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on November 29, 2016 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
When Shredlage® was introduced in 2008, it caused quite a stir among dairy producers, nutritionists, custom chopper operators, equipment manufacturers and university researchers.