Checklist: How do I prepare for next year? – 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
While the last thing many producers' want to think about is NEXT YEAR'S harvest, it pays to make a checklist for what you can do now to ensure a successful and prosperous harvest next year.

Silage runoff: What are you really losing? – Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus

Posted on July 24, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
Silage runoff occurs when you ensile silage at higher-than-ideal moisture levels, and runoff is not a good thing.  When you see runoff, your ensiled crop is losing valuable nutrients, along with overall silage quality.

200-RFQ alfalfa silage: Relative to what? – Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus

Posted on July 24, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist
You send in a new batch of haylage to the forage testing lab and the analysis reveals it has a relative forage quality (RFQ) greater than 200.  This raises feeding and production expectations, but let's slow down and ask, "What does this 200-plus RFQ really mean?"

Quick tip: Transporting inoculants

Posted on July 24, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
While many producers are concerned with making sure all equipment is prepared for harvest, proper inoculant handling and transportation to the field is often overlooked.  When it comes to your inoculant, you need to make sure you have a plan in place before you hit the fields.

Ensiling unique forage byproducts – Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus

Posted on July 24, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
Ensiling unique forage byproducts has been practiced for thousands of years.  While it is more common in other parts of the world, it may become more common in the Midwest as producers look to save money.

Hail-damaged corn: What can you do?

Posted on July 24, 2018 in Forage Foundations

It's a week before harvest and suddenly a hail storm blows through and wipes out the crop you have worked so hard to grow this season.  What can you do?  Two years ago, City Slickers Farm, LLC found themselves in this situation and salvaged most of their crop with quick, proactive thinking.

Aerial imagery as a scouting tool in cropping systems – Scott Rowntree, Pioneer

Posted on July 24, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Scott Rowntree, Pioneer® field agronomist and certified crop advisor
Agriculture has seen many technological advancements that have led farms to be more efficient, productive and profitable.  Aerial imagery is one of these technologies that can help farmers scout their crops more efficiently.

Cut it out! Avoid alfalfa quality guesswork – Nathan Hrnicek, Vita Plus

Posted on May 22, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Nathan Hrnicek, Vita Plus forage products specialist
Producers across the Midwest have been asking when they should harvest first-crop alfalfa.  Two great methods to help predict alfalfa quality prior to harvest are the PEAQ stick and scissor clippings.

Does water quality affect your inoculant? – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on May 22, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
Each year, dairy producers and custom harvesters ask, "Can I use chlorinated or city water to mix my inoculant?"  With a few exceptions, the answer is yes, but watch for extremes.

Regional report: Spring planting and alfalfa progress – Greg Wiener, Jerry Ruetten, Jon Rasmussen and Nathan Hrnicek, Vita Plus

Posted on May 22, 2018 in Forage Foundations

From Iowa to Michigan, consultants report on planting and alfalfa harvest progress.

Oh hail no! Hail-damaged bags…what now?

Posted on May 22, 2018 in Forage Foundations

While we do our best to put up high-quality forage each year, sometimes Mother Nature has other plans.  What is your strategy when disaster strikes your forage bags?

Managing mineral variation in forages – Kyle Taysom, Dairyland Laboratories, Inc.

Posted on May 22, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Kyle Taysom, Dairyland Laboratories, Inc.
Forage minerals can have many impacts on animal health and production.  Although minerals are relatively inexpensive to supplement, failing to account for the variation of minerals within forages can lead to substantial over- or underfeeding.

Early season corn stand evaluation sets expectations for the year – Jon Erickson, Mycogen Seeds

Posted on May 22, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Erickson, Mycogen® Seeds
Once the seed is in the ground, how can you decide a reasonable outlook for the crop in the fall?  Uniform plant emergence can tell you a lot.

RFV or RFQ: Does it make a difference? – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on May 22, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
Nutritionists sometimes use RFV and RFQ to describe how a certain forage is feeding.  However, these two values mean more when you compare the relative dollar value of different forages in the market.

Planter technology advancements – Dr. Brian Luck, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Posted on March 23, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Brian Luck, University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor and extension specialist
Planter technology has advanced rapidly over the last five to 10 years.  New planter technologies are being designed to improve seed placement and overall planting operation efficiency.

Moving and re-ensiling silage – Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus

Posted on March 23, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
Moving and re-ensiling silage is never ideal because it exposes the silage to oxygen and predisposes the feed to spoilage.  However, you can minimize the impact of this practice with a few preventative steps.