VIDEO: Forage sampling video – Bunkers and piles – Brittany Gevelinger, Vita Plus

Posted on May 23, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Brittany Gevelinger, Vita Plus Dodgeville dairy specialist
In this final video of our five-part series, Brittany Gevelinger walks through the proper steps of sampling bunkers and piles to help you make management and nutrition decisions.

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.

Bales & Baleage – Dr. Thomas Chamberlain, DVM

Posted on March 16, 2017 in Forage Foundations

Baleage may not get a lot of attention here in the United States, but it accounts for 10 to 25 percent of all silage in western Europe, according to Dr. Thomas Chamberlain.  During his presentation at the Vita Plus Custom Harvester Meeting, Chamberlain, a private forage and dairy health consultant, explained the advantages of baleage for British producers and how some of those advantages may also apply to U.S. producers.

Case study: Forages scorecarding to evaluate quality – Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus

Posted on January 26, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical service specialist
The winter months often offer a time to reflect on the past year’s work, including the forages program.  To assist with that review, Vita Plus has developed a forage scorecard to help highlight areas of your forages program where you excel and areas for improvement. 

VIDEO: Forage sampling video – Upright silos – Richard Mensendike, Vita Plus

Posted on January 26, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Richard Mensendike, Vita Plus dairy specialist
In this fourth video of a five-part series, Richard Mensendike, Vita Plus Lanark livestock specialist, walks through the proper steps of sampling upright silos to help you make management and nutrition decisions.  We’ll discuss sampling strategies for other storage structures and feed in upcoming editions of Forage Foundations.

VIDEO: Forage sampling video – Total mixed rations – Brittany Gevelinger, Vita Plus

Posted on November 29, 2016 in Forage Foundations
By Brittany Gevelinger, Vita Plus Dodgeville dairy specialist
In this third video of a five-part series, Brittany Gevelinger walks through the proper steps of sampling total mixed rations (TMR) to help you make management and nutrition decisions.  We’ll discuss sampling strategies for other storage structures and feed in upcoming editions of Forage Foundations.

Is your silage too hot to handle? – Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus

Posted on September 23, 2016 in Forage Foundations
By Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical service specialist
The Vita Plus forage team assesses hundreds of silos every year.  One of the best tools we use is a temperature probe because silo temperature can tell a lot about upfront fermentation and spoilage.

The “fine” details on silage storage and particle size – Margaret Quaassdorff, Vita Plus

Posted on September 23, 2016 in Forage Foundations
By Margaret Quaassdorff, Vita Plus Lake Mills dairy specialist
In the July 2016 Forage Foundations, we reported particle size differences existed in haylage and corn silage when stored in bags versus bunkers and piles.  We’ll now focus on the implications of those differences on the rate of digestion and passage, rumen and overall cow health, production, and whether the cow will consume the entire balanced ration.

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.

VIDEO: Forage sampling video – Silage bags – Richard Mensendike, Vita Plus

Posted on September 23, 2016 in Forage Foundations
By Richard Mensendike, Vita Plus dairy specialist
In this second video of a five-part series, Richard Mensendike walks through the proper steps of sampling silage bags to help you make management and nutrition decisions.  We’ll discuss sampling strategies for other storage structures and feed in upcoming editions of Forage Foundations.

Minimizing negative effects of pests – Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus

Posted on July 29, 2016 in Forage Foundations
By Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical service specialist
In the May 2016 Forage Foundations, we described the effects pests, such as birds, raccoons and rats, have on feed quality.  In this second article, we aim to describe ways to minimize those effects.  

Forage particle size influenced by storage method? Absolutely! – Margaret Quaassdorff, Vita Plus

Posted on July 29, 2016 in Forage Foundations
By Margaret Quaassdorff, Vita Plus Lake Mills dairy specialist
You may have taken forage samples from different storage structures, like bags, bunkers or piles, and observed a difference in particle size distribution.  Vita Plus National Forage Specialist Jon Urness and I dedicated more thought and observation to find why forage particle sizes may vary coming out of different storage structures and if the distributions truly differ.  It seems reasonable to assume that, during harvest, feed going through a bagger would be processed to a greater degree than feed stored in a bunker or pile, due to more aggressive filling and packing mechanisms.

VIDEO: Forage sampling video – Baled hay and baleage – Brittany Gevelinger, Vita Plus

Posted on July 29, 2016 in Forage Foundations
By Brittany Gevelinger, Vita Plus Dodgeville dairy specialist
In this first video of a five-part series, Brittany Gevelinger walks through the proper steps to of sampling baled and baleage to help you make management and nutrition decisions.  We’ll discuss sampling strategies for other storage structures and feed in upcoming editions of Forage Foundations.

Reintroducing Silostop Gravelbags – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on May 26, 2016 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
Our Silostop® Gravelbags are not new and they aren’t improved, but sometimes it’s simply worthwhile to draw attention to a product that is often overlooked in the field.

The size of the pile – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on May 26, 2016 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
How much feed can I store in a drive-over pile given a certain area?

University extension services have some excellent tools to help you determine how much feed can be stored in a drive-over pile given a certain area.  Vita Plus also has a very comprehensive Feed Inventory Projector Program.

Baleage requires the right management – Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus

Posted on March 22, 2016 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical service specialist
Dr. Tom Chamberlain is a veterinarian, nutritionist and member of the Silostop® technical team.  A silage expert, he consults with dairy farms, veterinarians, milk buyers and government bodies throughout England and Wales, and is the senior author of the standard textbook on dairy cow nutrition in the UK.  He recently shared his insight and interesting data on an increasingly popular feedstuff in the Midwest – baleage.