Right-sizing your feed pad

Posted on February 21, 2023 in Forage Foundations
By Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus | While farms may “break the rules” of forage storage every now and then, the goal should always be to SAFELY store forages with nearly zero oxygen exposure.  If you find yourself frequently breaking the rules, it might be time to resize your feed pad.  Following are four rules to help you in the planning process.

Design YOUR ideal feed center

Posted on November 18, 2022 in Forage Foundations
By Jon Rasmussen | More farms are considering feed centers as a means to reduce shrink and improve efficiency by reducing the steps, wheel traffic, and time to load a TMR mixer. Here are a few suggested steps in the process of designing your ideal feed center.

Feed and forage inventory management goes to new heights

Posted on March 10, 2022 in Forage Foundations
By Dr. Matt Gabler, regional business manager New technology now provides us with a safe, easy, insightful, and accurate means to evaluate and measure feed and forage inventory and management.  Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – often referred to as drones - aren’t just for the military to protect our freedom; they are useful tools in maximizing operations in a wide variety of applications – including forage and feed management. 

The attraction to compaction

Posted on June 7, 2021 in Forage Foundations

By Becky Arnold, Lallemand Animal Nutrition territory business manager
Packing density is the most important factor influencing silage quality once the crop has been delivered to the silo. The more densely packed, the quicker oxygen is depleted, stopping plant respiration and the rapid growth of aerobic spoilage organisms.

Controlling birds and their mess

Posted on February 22, 2021 in Forage Foundations

By Jarrod Blackburn, Vita Plus dairy specialist
Many different bird species make a dairy farm “home” in the cooler months, posing a risk to the health of livestock and people as well as the farm’s bottom line. Luckily, you have options to control those bird populations and protect your investment.

Sizing up your forage future

Posted on October 16, 2020 in Forage Foundations

By Nathan Hrnicek, Vita Plus forage consultant
It is important to have the correct storage space for all of your forages. If you are considering new storage structures, keep in mind the amount of space and feed you need now, as well as in the future, and how it works into your feedout strategy.

The “fine” details on silage storage and particle size – Margaret Quaassdorff, Vita Plus

Posted on September 23, 2016 in Forage Foundations
By Margaret Quaassdorff, Vita Plus Lake Mills dairy specialist
In the July 2016 Forage Foundations, we reported particle size differences existed in haylage and corn silage when stored in bags versus bunkers and piles.  We’ll now focus on the implications of those differences on the rate of digestion and passage, rumen and overall cow health, production, and whether the cow will consume the entire balanced ration.

Minimizing negative effects of pests – Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus

Posted on July 29, 2016 in Forage Foundations
By Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical service specialist
In the May 2016 Forage Foundations, we described the effects pests, such as birds, raccoons and rats, have on feed quality.  In this second article, we aim to describe ways to minimize those effects.  

Forage particle size influenced by storage method? Absolutely! – Margaret Quaassdorff, Vita Plus

Posted on July 29, 2016 in Forage Foundations
By Margaret Quaassdorff, Vita Plus Lake Mills dairy specialist
You may have taken forage samples from different storage structures, like bags, bunkers or piles, and observed a difference in particle size distribution.  Vita Plus National Forage Specialist Jon Urness and I dedicated more thought and observation to find why forage particle sizes may vary coming out of different storage structures and if the distributions truly differ.  It seems reasonable to assume that, during harvest, feed going through a bagger would be processed to a greater degree than feed stored in a bunker or pile, due to more aggressive filling and packing mechanisms.