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.

Retain those leaves! – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on May 23, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
Have you ever looked at your alfalfa hay or haylage and wondered, “What is the value of the leaves and stems?”  Probably not, but the nerds among us might find the answer to that at least interesting.  More importantly, the forage, dairy and beef producers among us may find such information critical to the success of their forage programs.

Regional report: Spring planting and alfalfa progress – John Brantsen, Jerry Ruetten, Jon Rasmussen and Mark Case, Vita Plus

Posted on May 23, 2017 in Forage Foundations

Most of the crop season has had a slow and wet start, but, with promising weather on the horizon, farmers hope to get back in the fields soon.  Hear from our Vita Plus dairy and forage consultants as they provide insights on the planting and alfalfa progress across the Vita Plus market area.

Haylage: Back to the Basics – Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus

Posted on March 16, 2017 in Forage Foundations

Harvest season can seem like a sprint from one field to another.  However, taking the time to do the basics correctly when harvesting haylage will help keep custom harvesters and dairy producers in business, according to Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical service specialist.

Wide Swathing and Low-Lignin Alfalfa – Dr. Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin-Extension

Posted on March 16, 2017 in Forage Foundations

In the last 80 years, milk production and the dairy industry have experienced considerable advancements.  To keep up with this progress, Dr. Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin-Extension, said we will need to continue to innovate and use technology to provide the highest quality alfalfa possible.

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.

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.

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. 

Reduced-lignin alfalfa – Dr. Daniel Undersander, University of Wisconsin-Extension

Posted on November 29, 2016 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Daniel Undersander, University of Wisconsin-Extension forage agronomist
Lignin is the key plant cell wall component that gives a plant strength to stand up and prevent water from leaking during transport from the root to the leaves.  This may be good for the plant, but lignin also reduces plant cell wall digestibility in mammals.  For these reasons, we want to find the proper balance of lignin to support the plant without drastically reducing digestibility.

Regional fall harvest reports – John Brantsen, Jerry Ruetten, Jon Rasmussen and Mark Case, Vita Plus

Posted on November 29, 2016 in Forage Foundations

With the 2016 fall harvest behind us, hear from our Vita Plus dairy and forage consultants as they reflect on the hay, corn silage and grain harvests at several points in the Vita Plus market area.

Processing snaplage: A rock and a hard place – Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus

Posted on September 23, 2016 in Forage Foundations
By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist
This past summer, a team of Vita Plus dairy specialists evaluated new laboratory techniques to predict rates of starch digestibility and how to use these rates in ration formulation.  One of our biggest findings was starch digestion rates of snaplage stored for nine to 12 months are fast - too fast in many cases. 

Successful high moisture corn harvest and storage – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on September 23, 2016 in Forage Foundations
By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
Dairy producers have successfully harvested, stored, and fed high moisture corn (HMC) for years, but problems can occur for the best producers.  Even with relatively low corn prices, HMC is still worth more than $100 per ton.  For the sake of cash flow, high production, and animal health, it pays huge dividends to get things done right, and it starts with harvesting at the correct moisture.

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.

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.

Practical research shared at International Silage Conference

Posted on July 30, 2015 in Forage Foundations
By Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical services specialist Every three years, the world’s foremost silage scientists gather to discuss the newest discoveries at the International Silage Conference.  This year, 268 delegates from 39 countries gathered for the 17th International Silage Conference in Piracicaba, Brazil, held at a renovated sugar mill.  Ground-breaking research premiered