Do you know your forage and feed?

Posted on August 23, 2017 in Dairy Performance
By Brittany Gevelinger & Richard Mensendike
Quality forages…where sound nutrition starts.

Analyzing forage and feed samples will give you an accurate picture of their quality, and help you make management decisions to optimize your herd’s nutrition.  The more representative your sample, the more accurate your analysis.

Most often, your nutritionist pulls and submits samples when he or she visits the farm.  However, it is becoming more common for producers to collect samples.  These short videos walk you through the steps to properly collect samples of various forages and total mixed rations.  Contact your Vita Plus consultant for any assistance you need in obtaining and submitting forage and feed samples.

Baled hay and baleage

Bunkers and piles

Silage bags

Upright silos

Total mixed rations

These videos were originally created for the Vita Plus Forage Foundations e-news.  Click here to subscribe to this free bimonthly resource.

About the authors:  Brittany Gevelinger is a dairy specialist at Vita Plus Dodgeville.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in dairy science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2009.  She continued her education at Virginia Tech and completed her master’s degree in dairy science in 2011.  Her research included evaluating feed ingredient variation and on-farm troubleshooting of feed management software.  She conducted whole-farm nutrient balance assessments and recommended feed management and business model options to improve farm management.  Before joining Vita Plus, Gevelinger worked as a feed technology specialist based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and provided dairy ration formulation, feed formulation, and technical assistance.

Richard Mensendike is a livestock specialist at Vita Plus Lanark.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, where he majored in animal science with a meat animal emphasis.  He previously owned a small commercial beef herd and made all breeding and marketing decisions.  He worked on six dairy farms during college and focused heavily on milk production and genetics.  He also has extensive experience preparing and fitting cattle for shows and classification.

Category: Dairy Performance
Feed quality and nutrition
Forage harvesting