Wrap it up: Producing high-quality baleage – Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus

Posted on January 27, 2016 in Forage Foundations
By Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical service specialist With lower milk prices, producers are all the more focused on getting as much value as possible from the resources they have.  One way to do this is by producing high-quality baleage. Recent research from Dr. Dan Undersander at the University of

Ask the expert: Walls or no walls? – Randall Greenfield, Vita Plus

Posted on January 27, 2016 in Forage Foundations

By Randall Greenfield, Vita Plus dairy specialist

Question:  What makes the most financial sense?  Building a bunker or drive-over pile to store my forages?

Answer:  This question inevitably comes up when considering storage options for ensiled forages and grains. The answer, of course, is always “it depends.” For any specific situation, the ultimate solution could be different than the next. For the purpose of this article, however, I’ll make some generic comparisons.

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

Bunkers, bags or piles: Storage options for high moisture corn and snaplage

Posted on July 30, 2015 in Forage Foundations
By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist What is the best storage option for high-value ensiled feeds like high moisture shelled corn (HMSC), ear corn or snaplage?  The answer depends on the definition of the word “best.” For some, “best” could mean “easiest.”  For others, it could be the option that yields the most

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

Do your bunkers need a spring forage face lift? (Jon Rasmussen and Jon Urness)

Posted on March 18, 2015 in Forage Foundations
By Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus technology specialist, and Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist This winter that will probably go in the books as just average for temperatures.  The periods of extreme cold are what most of us will remember about the 2014-15 winter. During those cold spells, our forage faces might have sagged

Avoid the stink (Dr. Michelle Windle)

Posted on March 18, 2015 in Forage Foundations
By Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical services specialist “Clostridia” is almost a four-lettered word in today’s silage world.  Clostridia bacteria degrade quality and produce butyric acid in silages.  However, clostridia challenges can be managed with the right knowledge, tools and strategy. Clostridia bugs are present everywhere: in the soil, on

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

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

HMSC: Don’t forget the H (Jon Urness)

Posted on September 4, 2014 in Forage Foundations
By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist Dairy producers have successfully harvested, stored and fed high moisture corn for many years. By now, most have the routine down pat. But when things go wrong, it’s often the lack of high moisture that causes problems.  Naturally, too much moisture can be a challenge as well,

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

Battling clostridial bacteria with wet forages (Chris Wacek-Driver)

Posted on April 21, 2014 in Forage Foundations
Chris Wacek-Driver, Vita Plus forage program manager Alfalfa is a particularly challenging crop to ensile due to naturally occurring compounds (primarily acids and proteins) that effectively buffer the crop.  Practically speaking, this means it takes more acid - and thus more sugar - to reach the correct pH endpoint.  At moistures of 65 percent or

Does new equipment provide better packing? (Jon Urness)

Posted on April 21, 2014 in Forage Foundations
Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist At every Vita Plus training session, meeting or other opportunity, we remind folks that, to achieve the best chance of a good silage fermentation, we need to start with a crop that is harvested at the proper moisture, maturity and particle size, then pack that feed to achieve

Corn silage and HMSC: Give them time (Dr. Eric Schwab)

Posted on January 9, 2014 in Forage Foundations
To manage feed costs, we’re looking to maximize the investment of every pound we feed.  For dairy farmers, a big part of that goal is making sure we get as much energy as possible out of our corn silage as opposed to that energy passing through to the back end. Lately, we’ve heard a lot

Bolsen: Minimizing Dry Matter Loss

Posted on February 22, 2013 in Forage Foundations
  Click to download presentation Over the past five years, U.S. harvesters have put up 109.9 million tons of corn silage, according to Dr. Keith Bolsen, professor emeritus with Kansas State University and private forage consultant. That means that corn silage is a $7 billion industry today.  Compare that to the $2 billion industry of

Kung: Aerobic Deterioration of Silages – Causes, Results & Impact on Ruminants

Posted on December 4, 2012 in Forage Foundations
Forage cannot be made better from the point it leaves the field, therefore our goal as an industry is to start with the best quality forage possible and preserve it with excellent silage management, said Dr. Limin Kung, University of Delaware. Harvesters and producers should have two goals in making fermented feeds. At the front