Higher corn silage diets: Why do many nutritionists prefer them? – Dr. Darin Bremmer, Vita Plus

Posted on May 26, 2016 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Darin Bremmer, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist
What once was considered a high corn silage diet is not high compared to today’s standards. In the past, you never heard of feeding milk cow diets containing more than 50 percent of forage dry matter (DM) from corn silage.  We now feed diets with more than 80 percent of forage DM from corn silage.

Number one cause of silage failure – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on May 26, 2016 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
What’s the number one reason for things going bad in the silage bunker, pile, bag or silo?

The answer to that question is often determined long before even a single load is put into those structures.

Ration considerations during low milk prices – Randall Greenfield, Vita Plus

Posted on March 22, 2016 in Forage Foundations

By Randall Greenfield, Vita Plus dairy specialist
Low milk prices are here. Again. And they’re expected to stick around for the rest of the year.

What’s growing: Understanding yeasts and molds – Jon Urness and Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus

Posted on March 22, 2016 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist, and Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical service specialist
Last November, we received a call from a Vita Plus consultant in southwest Wisconsin asking about some yeast and mold counts.  He was helping a producer determine the effects of mixing a TMR and feeding it only once every three days to his prefresh group.  He took samples on each of the three days and submitted them for analysis.  He repeated this twice (Mix 1 and 2 from Farm A).  We sampled another mix for comparison in a similar way (Farm B).

When is ‘adequate’ kernel processing not adequate? – Jon Urness and Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus

Posted on January 27, 2016 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
A kernel processing score between 60 and 70 has been widely considered as “ideal.” However, that might not necessarily be true depending on harvest moisture. Wetter corn silage has the potential for greater starch digestibility while drier silage may have far less starch digestion potential given the same processing score.

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

Bunkers, bags or piles: Storage options for high moisture corn and snaplage

Posted on July 30, 2015 in Forage Foundations
By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist What is the best storage option for high-value ensiled feeds like high moisture shelled corn (HMSC), ear corn or snaplage?  The answer depends on the definition of the word “best.” For some, “best” could mean “easiest.”  For others, it could be the option that yields the most

Corn silage digestibility: Can we make a difference? (Pat Hoffman)

Posted on March 18, 2015 in Forage Foundations
By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist Today’s high-producing dairy cows consume copious amounts of calories to sustain milk production and no forage is better suited to provide calories than corn silage. As discussed at the Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting, corn silage is unique in the world of forages, containing a source of

Avoid the stink (Dr. Michelle Windle)

Posted on March 18, 2015 in Forage Foundations
By Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical services specialist “Clostridia” is almost a four-lettered word in today’s silage world.  Clostridia bacteria degrade quality and produce butyric acid in silages.  However, clostridia challenges can be managed with the right knowledge, tools and strategy. Clostridia bugs are present everywhere: in the soil, on

All things forage: You pick a topic (Barry Visser & Dr. Darin Bremmer)

Posted on February 24, 2015 in Forage Foundations
With Barry Visser and Dr. Darin Bremmer, Vita Plus dairy technical service specialists, Dr. Randy Shaver, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Dr. Larry Chase, Cornell University When it comes to forages, custom harvesters and dairy producers always have questions to ask and topics to discuss. In a panel discussion at the recent Vita Plus Custom Harvester

Shredlage: What we’ve learned (Dr. Randy Shaver & Dr. Larry Chase)

Posted on February 24, 2015 in Forage Foundations
Click here to download Shaver's PowerPoint presentation.  Click here to download Chase's PowerPoint presentation. With Dr. Randy Shaver, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Dr. Larry Chase, Cornell University Shredlage® is becoming popular, yet many questions still surround the logistics of this harvesting strategy. Dr. Randy Shaver, University of Wisconsin-Madison Dairy Science Department, shared results of his

Corn silage digestibility: Can we make a difference? (Pat Hoffman)

Posted on February 24, 2015 in Forage Foundations
Click here to download Hoffman's PowerPoint presentation. By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist Today’s high-producing dairy cows consume copious amounts of calories to sustain milk production and no forage is better suited to provide calories than corn silage. As discussed at the Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting, corn silage is unique in the

High moisture or dry corn: What do the numbers say? (Dr. Michelle Windle)

Posted on September 4, 2014 in Forage Foundations
By Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus forage products & dairy technical service specialist Fermentation breaks down the starch-binding proteins within the corn kernel.  As a result, high moisture corn (HMC) can feed better than dry corn due to an increase in starch availability in the rumen. However, HMC often spoils quickly upon exposure to air,

Getting the most from dry and high moisture grains in dairy cow diets (Pat Hoffman)

Posted on September 4, 2014 in Forage Foundations
By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist Dairy producers feed dairy cows a variety of grains, including dry corn, high moisture corn (HMC) and snaplage.  These grains are stored in bins, bags, silos and bunkers for variable lengths of time and are processed by a multitude of systems. Traditional forage testing procedures have not

HMSC: Don’t forget the H (Jon Urness)

Posted on September 4, 2014 in Forage Foundations
By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist Dairy producers have successfully harvested, stored and fed high moisture corn for many years. By now, most have the routine down pat. But when things go wrong, it’s often the lack of high moisture that causes problems.  Naturally, too much moisture can be a challenge as well,

Starch and moisture influences on CSPS (Chris Wacek-Driver with Kyle Taysom)

Posted on September 4, 2014 in Forage Foundations
By Chris Wacek-Driver, Vita Plus forage program manager, with Kyle Taysom, Dairyland Laboratories, Inc. The trend of feeding greater levels of corn silage to dairy cows and an influx of new processor designs has heightened dairy industry interest in determining optimal kernel processing.  While it's certainly not the sole factor that determines optimal dietary digestibility