Using a handheld NIR reader

Posted on June 18, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Jerry Ruetten, Vita Plus dairy specialist
Handheld near-infrared (NIR) spectrometers promise dairy producers instant feedstuff analysis in the palms of their hands. While the technology is still fairly new, we tested some of these devices and have some advice to help you get the most out of them.

Strategies to consider when corn silage planting is significantly delayed

Posted on June 18, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Phil Krueger, Mycogen Seeds nutritionist
Although corn silage planting has been significantly delayed this year, it is still the preferred forage of choice, and here are some things to keep in mind as we head into late-June and early-July.

Alfalfa and grass silage chop lengths

Posted on June 18, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Wyatt Smith, Vita Plus dairy specialist
Particle size is important to consider when feeding cows, but it is also important at the time of ensiling. With many producers growing grasses in place of alfalfa this year, the theoretical length of cut will need to be adjusted to get the most out of these forages.

8 ways to help control alfalfa quality during harvest – Nathan Hrnicek, Vita Plus

Posted on April 11, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Nathan Hrnicek, Vita Plus forage consultant
Producers will soon be wondering when they should harvest alfalfa to maximize yield and maintain quality. These eight practices can help you control alfalfa quality throughout the harvest process.

Optimize the use of foliar fungicide on alfalfa – Dr. Damon Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Posted on April 11, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Damon Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor and extension specialist
In the last 10 years, foliar fungicide applications have gained popularity in alfalfa meant for dairy production. These applications can be used to target foliar diseases, but they are now also being used to boost plant health and to protect yield potential.

To drive or not to drive? Wheel traffic and alfalfa yields – Steve Murty, Vita Plus

Posted on April 11, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Steve Murty, Vita Plus forage products specialist
In the pursuit of greater alfalfa yields, farmers have inadvertently selected seed that requires heavier equipment to harvest. Research has shown driving on fields, especially when conditions don't support it, can cause soil compaction and significant yield reductions.

Planting 2019: “The sins of planting may haunt you all season” – Jon Erickson, Mycogen Seeds

Posted on April 11, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Erickson, Mycogen Seeds commerical agronomist
Uniform plant emergence is one important factor to grow a successful crop each year. Hopefully you don't have an issue with emergence, but if you do, use these guidelines to help you work through this process.

The value of alfalfa seed treatments – Steve Murty, Vita Plus

Posted on February 1, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Steve Murty, Vita Plus forage products specialist
Seed treatments, such as seed coatings, can provide the seed more protection once it is planted, but examining the individual components of the treatment will help determine its value.

How do we feed low-moisture corn silage? – Dr. Darin Bremmer, Vita Plus

Posted on September 26, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Darin Bremmer, Vita Plus regional sales manager
Parts of our market area have experienced extreme flooding, while others have seen drought.  In many of these situations, producers will have to work through their unique challenges to harvest and feed low-moisture corn silage.

Regional report: How’s harvest going? – Greg Wiener, Jerry Ruetten, Jon Rasmussen and Nathan Hrnicek, Vita Plus

Posted on September 26, 2018 in Forage Foundations

From Iowa to Michigan, consultants report on corn silage harvest so far.

A new look at fiber digestibility and particle size – Dr. Rick Grant and Wyatt Smith, William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute

Posted on September 26, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Rick Grant and Wyatt Smith, William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute president and MS graduate student
Current research at the Miner Institute looks at the impacts particle size may have on fiber digestibility.

Low-lignin alfalfa – What have we learned so far? – Kate McAndrews, Vita Plus

Posted on September 26, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Kate McAndrews, Vita Plus regional sales manager
Low-lignin alfalfa is a current "hot topic" for many producers, but what results are we seeing in the field?

Checklist: How do I prepare for next year? – Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus

Posted on September 26, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
While the last thing many producers' want to think about is NEXT YEAR'S harvest, it pays to make a checklist for what you can do now to ensure a successful and prosperous harvest next year.

Silage runoff: What are you really losing? – Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus

Posted on July 24, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
Silage runoff occurs when you ensile silage at higher-than-ideal moisture levels, and runoff is not a good thing.  When you see runoff, your ensiled crop is losing valuable nutrients, along with overall silage quality.

Hail-damaged corn: What can you do?

Posted on July 24, 2018 in Forage Foundations

It's a week before harvest and suddenly a hail storm blows through and wipes out the crop you have worked so hard to grow this season.  What can you do?  Two years ago, City Slickers Farm, LLC found themselves in this situation and salvaged most of their crop with quick, proactive thinking.

Cut it out! Avoid alfalfa quality guesswork – Nathan Hrnicek, Vita Plus

Posted on May 22, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Nathan Hrnicek, Vita Plus forage products specialist
Producers across the Midwest have been asking when they should harvest first-crop alfalfa.  Two great methods to help predict alfalfa quality prior to harvest are the PEAQ stick and scissor clippings.