16 steps to cover silage piles

Posted on August 17, 2021 in Forage Foundations

By Andy Carlson, Vita Plus dairy specialist
The final step of harvest – and one of the most critical steps – is to effectively cover and seal our bunkers and piles to limit oxygen and protect forages.  We depend on bacteria to ferment and preserve forage, and virtually all these bacteria need a low-oxygen environment to efficiently do the job.  Here are some recommendations to help you cover forages safely, efficiently and effectively.

It won’t be a good harvest if it’s not safe

Posted on August 17, 2021 in Forage Foundations

By Kyle McLain, Vita Plus dairy specialist
Forage quality and quantity are very important for feed efficiency and profitability. However, safety trumps all of that when it comes to harvesting, storing and feeding forages. Nothing is more important than you and your employees returning safely and soundly to your families after a successful corn silage season. Here are some safety tips to consider when harvesting, storing and feeding forages.

The attraction to compaction

Posted on June 7, 2021 in Forage Foundations

By Becky Arnold, Lallemand Animal Nutrition territory business manager
Packing density is the most important factor influencing silage quality once the crop has been delivered to the silo. The more densely packed, the quicker oxygen is depleted, stopping plant respiration and the rapid growth of aerobic spoilage organisms.

5 times to communicate deliberately

Posted on June 7, 2021 in Forage Foundations

By Peter Coyne, Vita Plus sales manager
Preparing your team to work together, to think as one, to understand the importance of safe and efficient work as they harvest, and to store exceptional feed requires deliberate planning and communication.  It is never safe to assume everyone is on the same page.

Even texters and drivers hate texters and drivers (in farming too)

Posted on December 16, 2020 in Forage Foundations

By Kate McAndrews, Vita Plus sales manager
Cellphone use while operating equipment is a form of distracted driving and it is extremely dangerous. If you don’t have a safe communication system in place for you and your farm crew, developing a plan in the offseason would be time well invested. 

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.

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.

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.

“Failing to plan is planning to fail” – Peter Coyne, Vita Plus

Posted on July 25, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Peter Coyne, Vita Plus dairy service specialist

Ben Franklin said it well.

Having a well-planned corn silage harvest is essential if we want to maximize forage quality for the herd in the next year.  On a good day, custom operators chop about 100 acres of corn silage with one chopper.  For a 1,000-cow dairy, each day of chopping results in about a month’s worth of corn silage for the milking herd. 

Be careful out there! – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on January 26, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
An American university once received a $250,000 federal grant to study the characteristics of cow manure.  The conclusion of its study: manure is slippery.  I think they could have saved the money and just asked a dairy producer.  I don’t know the specifics of the study, but we sure don’t need a university study to tell us something we have known for decades: things can get slippery on the farm, especially in the winter. 

Quick tip: Five ways to keep your feet beneath you this winter – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on January 27, 2016 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
We all know things get slick in the winter time, but that’s especially true around forage bunkers, piles and bags where moisture and loose plastic add to the challenge.  Here are five reminders to help keep you safe as you work through the cold months...

Griswold: The Biggest Problem with Silage? – SAFETY!

Posted on December 4, 2012 in Forage Foundations
Dr. Ken Griswold has made a career out of forages as a part of the Penn State Cooperative Extension dairy team. While that does mean he’s an expert in the field, it doesn’t mean he’s immune to the dangers that come with putting up high quality forages. This past September, Griswold was working in an