Benefits of forage inventory planning

Posted on April 14, 2020 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus dairy technology specialist
No matter what your fields look like, it is advantageous to know when the feed in storage will be used up, and frequent measurements and projections of your feed inventory will help reduce any anxiety you may have going into planting and harvest. 

Creating a niche while scaling growth – Kyle Beauchamp, KB Custom Ag Services

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations

When he started his own custom harvesting business in 2007, Beauchamp admited, "I had no clue what I was doing." But he recognized a need for quality forage, and today KB Custom Ag Services employs 250 people and harvested 150,000 acres in three states last year.

Alternative forages: One cut doesn’t fit all – Steve Murty, Vita Plus

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations

Frustrating planting, growing and harvest conditions have encouraged more farms in the Midwest to look at alternative forage sources to feed their livestock. If grown and harvested correctly, these crops can have great nutritional value.

“They said…” Lessons learned in the 2019 hemp harvest – Peter Hughes, Red Barn Consulting Inc.

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations

Hemp is now legal to grow in the U.S., and we continue to learn more about the plant each year. The tough, fibrous plant is traditionally hand-harvested, but Hughes explained how it can be harvested mechanically.

Grain and kernel particle size: The math – Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations

Kernel processing score is so important to progressive forage harvesters because a dairy cow can't access the starch in an unprocessed corn kernel and can experience a drop in milk production within 12 hours from a reduction in starch calories.

Mechanics of pack tractors and packing weights – Jon Orr, Orrson Custom Farming LTD.

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations

Custom harvesters are asked to do a lot of things when it comes to packing a bunker or pile, but what happens when it becomes unsafe? Orr spoke from personal experience and provided his solutions to "making it all fit."

Get the most from your inoculant – Dr. Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian and Nathan Hrnicek, Vita Plus

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations

You spend all year trying to maximize forage yield and quality, but now you need to preserve it. Using forage inoculants can help preserve as much forage dry matter as possible.

Frosty the corn silage

Posted on October 28, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist, and Dr. Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
Frost has settled in across most of the Midwest. Freezing temperatures will affect silage fermentations and, if you find yourself in this situation, here are some management tips.

Ask the expert: When should I chop frozen sudangrass?

Posted on October 28, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
Sudangrass and other grasses come with a potentially deadly challenge in the form of prussic acid. This problem is further complicated after a frost, but proper management can help minimize detrimental effects.

Starch digestibility: Can we make a difference?

Posted on October 28, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist
Starch digestibilities are expected to be lower than ideal in many situations this year, and many producers are wondering what they can do to compensate for low starch levels. It helps to first understand how starch is protected in the kernel.

Understanding corn silage trial test results

Posted on October 28, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Steve Murty, Vita Plus forage products specialist
As harvest season wraps up, producers will soon be swarmed with yield data from countless sources. This trial data can be overwhelming, so we broke it down to make it more manageable and to help you make the best decision for your production.

Harvesting and feeding early-chopped corn silage

Posted on August 21, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
Forage inventories are running low on many farms, and many producers are considering chopping corn silage early and feeding it right away. While this strategy has some benefits, immature corn can have some drawbacks if it is not harvested and fed correctly.

Proper summer annual forage harvest methods

Posted on August 21, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Steve Murty, Vita Plus forage products specialist
This growing season, many producers had to plant new forages they weren't accustomed to growing or harvesting. These summer annuals can be harvested for silage, wet baled, or used for grazing, but they also come with an unfamiliar challenge.

Deciding on a late alfalfa harvest

Posted on August 21, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Nathan Hrnicek, Vita Plus forage consultant
With the unique challenges of this growing season and forage inventory shortages on many farms, some producers are already considering a late alfalfa harvest. Keep these tips in mind if you are considering - or have already decided to take - a late cutting.

4 things your custom harvester wished you knew about them

Posted on August 21, 2019 in Forage Foundations

To Josh Parker, owner of Parker Forage LLC, communication is one of the biggest factors that leads to a successful harvest. He shared why this is important along with other points he wished you knew about custom harvesters.

Wet small grain silages: How do I feed these?

Posted on June 18, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist, and Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
This spring's excessive rainfall could complicate harvest of small grain silages. Here are some key points to keep in mind if you're putting up wet small grain silages.