Corn silage pricing considerations

Posted on June 18, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Randall Greenfield, Vita Plus dairy specialist
Producers often ask for help assigning fair prices to buy or sell forages. Corn silage is one of the easier forage values to calculate. Use these tips and considerations if you are trying to price your corn silage.

Using a handheld NIR reader

Posted on June 18, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Jerry Ruetten, Vita Plus dairy specialist
Handheld near-infrared (NIR) spectrometers promise dairy producers instant feedstuff analysis in the palms of their hands. While the technology is still fairly new, we tested some of these devices and have some advice to help you get the most out of them.

Strategies to consider when corn silage planting is significantly delayed

Posted on June 18, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Phil Krueger, Mycogen Seeds nutritionist
Although corn silage planting has been significantly delayed this year, it is still the preferred forage of choice, and here are some things to keep in mind as we head into late-June and early-July.

Alfalfa and grass silage chop lengths

Posted on June 18, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Wyatt Smith, Vita Plus dairy specialist
Particle size is important to consider when feeding cows, but it is also important at the time of ensiling. With many producers growing grasses in place of alfalfa this year, the theoretical length of cut will need to be adjusted to get the most out of these forages.

Bad bugs, bad bugs…What can you do?

Posted on June 18, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
The excessive rainfall this growing season has many forages going into the bunker wetter than normal, which predisposes these feeds to some bad bacteria. If you suspect you have some bad bacteria in your feeds, here are some options you have available.

8 ways to help control alfalfa quality during harvest – Nathan Hrnicek, Vita Plus

Posted on April 11, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Nathan Hrnicek, Vita Plus forage consultant
Producers will soon be wondering when they should harvest alfalfa to maximize yield and maintain quality. These eight practices can help you control alfalfa quality throughout the harvest process.

Optimize the use of foliar fungicide on alfalfa – Dr. Damon Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Posted on April 11, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Damon Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor and extension specialist
In the last 10 years, foliar fungicide applications have gained popularity in alfalfa meant for dairy production. These applications can be used to target foliar diseases, but they are now also being used to boost plant health and to protect yield potential.

To drive or not to drive? Wheel traffic and alfalfa yields – Steve Murty, Vita Plus

Posted on April 11, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Steve Murty, Vita Plus forage products specialist
In the pursuit of greater alfalfa yields, farmers have inadvertently selected seed that requires heavier equipment to harvest. Research has shown driving on fields, especially when conditions don't support it, can cause soil compaction and significant yield reductions.

Planting 2019: “The sins of planting may haunt you all season” – Jon Erickson, Mycogen Seeds

Posted on April 11, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Erickson, Mycogen Seeds commerical agronomist
Uniform plant emergence is one important factor to grow a successful crop each year. Hopefully you don't have an issue with emergence, but if you do, use these guidelines to help you work through this process.

Hay rake type influences ash content – Abby Neu, University of Minnesota

Posted on April 11, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Abby Neu, University of Minnesota extension educator
Ash can be internal or external. External ash is undesirable soil contamination, provides no nutritional value, adds unnecessary weight to forage, which increases cost, and can be influenced by the type of hay rake used.

3 ways to cope with high-mycotoxin feeds – Dr. Eric Schwab, Vita Plus

Posted on February 1, 2019 in Forage Foundations

​By Dr. Eric Schwab, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist
Mycotoxins are present in a wide range of livestock feeds. If you determine that a mycotoxin challenge exists, here are 3 mitigation strategies to help alleviate the situation.

The value of alfalfa seed treatments – Steve Murty, Vita Plus

Posted on February 1, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Steve Murty, Vita Plus forage products specialist
Seed treatments, such as seed coatings, can provide the seed more protection once it is planted, but examining the individual components of the treatment will help determine its value.

Are silage plastics old news? – Meghan Gebhardt, Silostop

Posted on February 1, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Meghan Gebhardt, Silostop regional manager
Each year, silo plastics help preserve quality silage, however, it also creates several thousand pounds of waste.  Luckily, other options to limit plastic waste are growing in popularity.

Can you feed reduced-lignin alfalfa with BMR corn? – Barry Visser, Vita Plus

Posted on February 1, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Barry Visser, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist
With the introduction of reduced-lignin alfalfa, some producers wonder if pairing it with BMR corn will result in too much digestible fiber.  Although research is limited, some producers are having success with this feeding strategy.

Soil health boosts crop health and more – Nathen Nysse, Peninsula Pride Farms, LLC

Posted on February 1, 2019 in Forage Foundations

By Nathen Nysse, Peninsula Pride Farms, LLC agronomist
Soil health is a complex concept that takes years of patience and care to complete. Yet it can have many positive implications for your crops, water quality and more. Use these steps to help increase your soil health.

Silo gases and harvest safety – Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus

Posted on September 26, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
Gas production during fermentation is normal and it will occur for roughly a week after a silo is sealed.  While most gases are harmless, others are deadly.