Winning the alfalfa game: Does RFQ tell the score?

Posted on June 17, 2020 in Forage Foundations

By Stacy Nichols, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist
The goal of managing alfalfa through harvest should not be to maximize relative feed quality (RFQ). Instead, it should be to achieve a balance between digestible fiber content and effective fiber. 

Spoiling silages and TMRs

Posted on June 17, 2020 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Limin Kung, University of Delaware professor of animal and food sciences
Silages start to spoil when exposed to air. Because total mixed rations (TMR) contain silages, they are also prone to further spoilage in the feed bunk, and the consequences of feeding these feeds can vary depending on several factors.

VIDEO: When should you use an inoculant with L. buchneri?

Posted on June 17, 2020 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
Warmer temperatures create the perfect environment for spoilage in your forages. Chang-Der Bedrosian explains how a forage inoculant with L. buchneri 40788 can help prevent spoilage, as well as when you are better off not using it.

Preserving protein in the silo and the rumen

Posted on June 17, 2020 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
Preserving as much true protein quality as possible in your homegrown forages is an important part of ensiling, and utilizing that protein efficiently will lead to greater overall profitability. One way to achieve both of those goals is with a research-proven forage inoculant.

Alternative forages can provide the nutrients cows need

Posted on June 17, 2020 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Owen Mickley, Vita Plus dairy specialist
Last year many farmers planted alternative forage species and put up some "unfamiliar" feeds. When strategically incorporated into the feeding plan, alternative forages can provide us the opportunity to fill in the gaps without leaving milk on the table.

What’s the best crop for my soil?

Posted on April 14, 2020 in Forage Foundations

By Steve Murty, Vita Plus forage products specialist
Customers ask this question each year before planting season, and it may still be asked several times per year on the same acre. To answer this question, you need to examine the various components that make up the soil environment.

Tips for sorghum forage management

Posted on April 14, 2020 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Matt Akins, University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant scientist
Last year’s growing season was difficult for many forage growers, and several producers made the decision to try sorghum forages with varying success. If you are looking to continue growing sorghum forages this year, keep these tips in mind.

VIDEO: Safety is first and ALWAYS

Posted on April 14, 2020 in Forage Foundations

Stephanie Jens, Lallemand Animal Nutrition, and Dr. Michelle Chang-Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus
Safety is a value at Vita Plus, and we remind all our customers, staff, and industry partners to be safe during forage harvest and throughout the year. This video offers tips to follow when working around forage bunkers and piles.

Managing alfalfa insect pests

Posted on April 14, 2020 in Forage Foundations

By Andrew Heath, Legacy Seeds agronomist
Yield is the most important component of an alfalfa crop’s profitability equation, and proper management of insect pests will preserve yield potential for greater feed quality and stand longevity.

Benefits of forage inventory planning

Posted on April 14, 2020 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus dairy technology specialist
No matter what your fields look like, it is advantageous to know when the feed in storage will be used up, and frequent measurements and projections of your feed inventory will help reduce any anxiety you may have going into planting and harvest. 

Sowing and growing good employees – Peter Coyne, Vita Plus

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations

The challenge many employers face is finding and retaining good employees. Coyne said the two factors driving employee retention are culture and engagement.

Farm labor update: Tips for employment law & immigration compliance – Kevin Paul, Range PC

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations

The responsibility to ensure your employees can legally work in the United States falls on your shoulders as their employer. Make sure you have the correct paperwork to continue operating your business.

How much planning do you put in for a safe and successful silage harvest? – Becky Arnold and Stephanie Jens, Lallemand Animal Nutrition

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations

"Everything we do is dangerous," Arnold said as she launched a discussion about safety on harvest crews and why accidents happen, followed by Jens speaking on the importance of preharvest safety meetings.

Creating a niche while scaling growth – Kyle Beauchamp, KB Custom Ag Services

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations

When he started his own custom harvesting business in 2007, Beauchamp admited, "I had no clue what I was doing." But he recognized a need for quality forage, and today KB Custom Ag Services employs 250 people and harvested 150,000 acres in three states last year.

Alternative forages: One cut doesn’t fit all – Steve Murty, Vita Plus

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations

Frustrating planting, growing and harvest conditions have encouraged more farms in the Midwest to look at alternative forage sources to feed their livestock. If grown and harvested correctly, these crops can have great nutritional value.

“They said…” Lessons learned in the 2019 hemp harvest – Peter Hughes, Red Barn Consulting Inc.

Posted on March 11, 2020 in Forage Foundations

Hemp is now legal to grow in the U.S., and we continue to learn more about the plant each year. The tough, fibrous plant is traditionally hand-harvested, but Hughes explained how it can be harvested mechanically.