Bringing applicators out of hibernation – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on March 23, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
In a couple months, we'll be counting on our forage inoculant applicators to apply inoculants reliably and accurately.  How we ease them into service could have a huge impact on how they perform throughout the harvest season.

Preseason planter maintenance with Don Seltzner, Mid-State Equipment

Posted on March 23, 2018 in Forage Foundations

When spring comes around, farmers get anxious to get the planter out and hit the fields.  Before you can start putting seed in the ground, make sure you give your planter a proper preseason check.  Don Seltzner, Mid-State Equipment, said these are some of the key areas you should check before hitting the fields.

Alfalfa and corn seeded together – John Grabber, USDA ARS

Posted on March 23, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By John Grabber, USDA ARS research agronomist
Alfalfa has typically been replaced in rotations with corn, partly due to the greater dry matter yield.  However, new research has found interseeding alfalfa into corn can jumpstart production of alfalfa the following year and increase yields.

Optimizing corn plant density for silage – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on March 23, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
For the past 40 years, Midwest corn growers have increased plant populations in an effort to find that happy place where optimum yield and quality meet.  At the Wisconsin Custom Operators and Midwest Forage Association Symposium, Dr. Joe Lauer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, spoke about research conducted to find that 'sweet spot.' 

Funky fermentations: A case study – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on January 25, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
It can be frustrating when you feel like you did everything correctly to put up quality forages and then the fermentation analysis shows a volatile fatty acid profile that is far from perfect.  In this particular case, the producer had unusually high acetic acid levels and we sought an answer. 

Ask the expert: Should I use fungicide to control vomitoxin in silage corn? – Dr. Damon Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Posted on January 25, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Damon Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor and extension specialist
Treating field corn or grain with fungicide has become a common practice in the Midwest.  More recently, research has been done on its application to corn for silage.  While it may not increase yield, it may help improve feed conversion.

Inoculant mythbusters: Clearing the smoke and mirrors – Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus

Posted on January 25, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
Each year, inoculant companies and their representatives vie for your business.  Decisions should be based on proven facts rather than marketing, smoke and mirrors.  To help, we'd like to share some myths we've heard as well as some scientific responses to help "clear the smoke."

Forage passage rates: What we know – Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus

Posted on January 25, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist
Anyone who has worked with lactating dairy cows has likely made a comment about loose manure and passage rates, but what do we really know about forage passage rates and how can that help us formulate better diets for our lactating dairy cows?

Longer storage length: What does it change? – Dr. Luiz Ferraretto, University of Florida

Posted on January 25, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Luiz Ferraretto, University of Florida assistant professor
While ensiling has been a well-established tool to store forages without compromising nutrient availability, recent research trials have reported some alterations in the nutritive value of silage occur with extended storage length.

2018 Wisconsin agronomy update meeting recap

Posted on January 25, 2018 in Forage Foundations

Each year, the University of Wisconsin Department of Agronomy and UW-Extension holds Wisconsin Agronomy Update Meetings throughout Wisconsin.  Department professors provide seed hybrid and variety performance, review last year's growing season, and give their recommendations for field crop production. 

Want greater starch digestibility? Store it longer! – Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus

Posted on November 20, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Windle, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
While the sealed silo may look peaceful during storage, the bacteria in the silo are hard at work making high-quality feed.  In fact, research has shown length of storage has a bigger impact on starch digestibility than kernel processing.

How’s your forage inventory? – Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus

Posted on November 20, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus dairy technology specialist
This is an important question to consider and you can answer it in many different ways.  Regardless of how you answer the question, it is important to periodically take inventory of your forages throughout the year to help make several high-value decisions.

Evaluating cereal forages from fall to spring – Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus

Posted on November 20, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist
While the weather allowed most corn silage and crops to be harvested before a killing frost set in, the planting of winter cereal forages were delayed or not accomplished.  If you are questioning if it is too late to plant your cereal crops or if they will make it, this article seeks to provide some tips on winter cereal crop evaluation.

Regional harvest reports – Andy Carlson, Jerry Ruetten, Jon Rasmussen and Mark Case, Vita Plus

Posted on November 20, 2017 in Forage Foundations

As harvest season wraps up here in the Midwest, check to see how your area has been doing.

To own or not to own?

Posted on November 20, 2017 in Forage Foundations

Most all dairy producers share similar headaches during harvest season whether they own their own mchinery or hire custom harvesters.  So what is the better option?  Two producers shared their thoughts and insight on the strategies that best fit their business model.

Applicator winterization – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on November 20, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
Nothing is more frustrating than being in the middle of harvest in the spring and when you go to use the applicator, all it does is leave a puddle on the ground.  Take a few minutes to properly clean your equipment this fall and it could save you hours in the spring.