New tool to monitor processing roll gap and chop length

Posted on July 30, 2015 in Forage Foundations
The Vita Plus forage team recently developed a new, simple-to-use tool for measuring corn silage processing roll gap and chop length in the field. A series of four cards, each measuring 0.75 mm in thickness, will enable operators to verify roll gap simply by inserting the cards between the processing rolls at various locations.  If

12-point check for small grain forages (Pat Hoffman)

Posted on March 18, 2015 in Forage Foundations
By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist Producers used to only plant small grains in the spring for forage when they faced alfalfa winterkill or needed a companion crop for alfalfa seedings. Times have changed and small grain forages are now commonly and diversely used to augment a wide array of forage needs.  In

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

New ways of harvesting and storing forages to enhance feed value (Dr. Kevin Shinners)

Posted on February 24, 2015 in Forage Foundations
Click here to download Shinners' PowerPoint presentation. With Dr. Kevin Shinners, University of Wisconsin-Madison Enhancing feed value is a major focus for producers and customer harvesters alike. Dr. Kevin Shinners of the Biological Systems Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison shared his thoughts on new ways to harvest and process forages at the Vita

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

Are you in sync with your customers? Here’s what they are saying! (Jon Urness)

Posted on February 24, 2015 in Forage Foundations
Click here to download Urness' PowerPoint presentation. By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist Harvest is often a time of high stress on dairies looking to put up high-quality forages and high moisture grains.  The window of opportunity is often ridiculously narrow. Relationships between dairy producers and their custom harvesters can be stretched to

Video: Evaluating corn silage processing in the field (Jon Rasmussen)

Posted on September 4, 2014 in Forage Foundations
By Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus technology specialist Trying to get a handle on corn silage processing while the choppers are moving has gained a great deal of interest in the recent years. A few considerations can help make the evaluation a little less subjective. Start by gathering a fresh corn silage sample in a 32-ounce

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

Packing better… with Shredlage? (Jon Rasmussen)

Posted on August 4, 2014 in Forage Foundations
By Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus technology specialist We know that packing density of corn silage is affected by a multitude of factors, including moisture, cut length, weight and time of packing tractors, delivery rate to the bunker or pile, and certainly processing methods.  But how does Shredlage® compare to conventionally processed silage in terms of

Immediate predictions of CSPS (Dr. Michelle Windle)

Posted on August 4, 2014 in Forage Foundations
By Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus forage products & dairy technical service specialist We’re seeing a growing interest in estimating corn silage processing scores (CSPS) while chopping instead of after the fact so that we can make appropriate adjustments in the field.  Some of this growing interest is also due to higher commodity prices as

Hitting the numbers this corn silage season (Jon Urness)

Posted on August 4, 2014 in Forage Foundations
By Jon Urness, national forage specialist Getting it right when it comes to corn silage harvest and storage has become more and more critical as it’s often the dominant forage in today’s dairy rations.  And you get just one chance.  You don't get any “do-overs” or “mulligans” when it comes to putting up a year’s

Caution: Don’t kill your bugs! (Dr. Michelle Windle)

Posted on April 21, 2014 in Forage Foundations
Are we pasteurizing the bugs in inoculant tank mixes?  That was the question Dr. Owen Mickley, Vita Plus dairy specialist, posed during the heat of last year's corn silage harvest in central Ohio. Just a couple weeks earlier, Mickley hosted a custom harvester meeting for about a dozen chopper operators. The subject of inoculant tank

Shredlage or conventional processing: What makes the best business sense?

Posted on January 9, 2014 in Forage Foundations
When it comes to the latest technology in corn silage processing, Shredlage® has dominated the headlines in the farm papers. This new approach to processing corn silage - which emphasizes not only the kernel portion of corn silage but also the stover portion - shows a lot of promise. A number of dairy producers from

Fine line between perfect processing and ideal chop length (Jerry Ruetten)

Posted on January 9, 2014 in Forage Foundations
By Jerry Ruetten, Vita Plus Dodgeville dairy nutritionist In southwest Wisconsin, despite a lack of rain in August, soybean and corn grain production were about average to a little above average.  This fall, corn silage ran about 25 tons per acre and starch has varied between 25 and 42 percent, with the average being in