As the corn silage season is coming to an end, most producers are very happy with the high yields. I have sent away some samples and so far the quality of silage is equally impressive. Most samples are coming back at 1.70 NEL. The normal range is from 1.58 to 1.72 NEL. Late planted corn will be lower in quality.
As all of you have probably heard, DFO has increased quota by 3 % starting December 1st, 2014. Now is a good time to take feed samples and update your ration. Feed prices have dropped significantly in the past month, so having an updated ration with lower feed costs combined with a nice quota increase will certainly increase your Return over Feed and profitability. Feeding Milk Replacer will also help you to ship as many litres of milk as possible to increase your bottom line.
As I write this article for the month, I can`t stop wondering how the corn crop is going to mature for dry corn, high moisture corn & in some situations, corn silage. I was listening to the Cropline yesterday & they mentioned something that hit a cord with me. Agronomists are comparing the crop year of 2014 to 1992! That is scary! Most of you will remember 1992. The year where most corn simply did not have enough heat units to mature. All corn in 1992 had very low bushel weights & energy values which caused producers to feed a lot more corn to keep the energy up in the cow’s diet. I think they might be right when I look at the 2 week forecast which isn’t going to bring us record amounts of heat. Most producers generally have a plan for their corn silage & HMC needs, but this year a back up plan must be in place. Some tough decisions might need to be made at corn silage time as to what fields do I take for silage & what fields for HMC or even leaving immature corn in the field. Most producers have excellent inventories built up on high quality haylages & hays so we might be able to feed more haylages this year & depend less on corn. I hope I am wrong, but I think being prepared will make us much more profitable! It will be interesting! Good luck!
Dairy farmers are busy trying to get crops in which keeps them away from the barn. Since you are busy in the fields, I thought I would send a gentle reminder to clean the fans in the barn before the upcoming heat & humidity. Doing this will help to improve Dry Matter Intake.
Spring is a great time of year, isn’t it? The snow is finally, I say, finally going away! The birds are singing in the mornings, the sun is much brighter and warmer, and we can actually see brown dirt again in the fields that I haven’t seen since November! One of the things that I do not like about spring is the effects on calf health. In the last 2 weeks, I am seeing at a lot of producers that are feeding calves whole milk and are having a lot of health issues such as scours and pneumonia. In my experience, spring and fall always seems to be an issue with calf health. If you are feeding whole milk and are having problems, just try a few bags of Purina Milk Chow with Deccox! It is available with 22% protein and 26% protein for producers that are looking for that superior frame and stature! With the addition of Deccox, it helps prevent Coccidiosis in young calves that can`t consume enough calf starter to achieve full protection. You only have 1 chance to produce that cow that stands above the rest! Enjoy the Spring.
A Christmas present to the Campbellford office was the addition of a brand new Koster tester. Dry Matter Intake (DMI) is consistently changing and a small detail that is often overlooked. A new project I am working on in 2014 is to follow moisture changes on farm to see how big these changes really are. We have been working with a customer, getting weekly TMR samples and tracking the moisture. The red line indicates what the moisture of the ration is according to the samples we took from the bunkers to balance in Optilac. As you know there are many factors that can positively or negatively affect forage moistures- but I am sure we all know what the big one has been so far this year- SNOW! Stay tuned for updates as we continue our weekly monitoring.
There has been a lot of interest in Purinas new Cow Signals Training from our producers lately. We are in the planning stages of running some more sessions for producers that are interested. We can do freestall sessions and tiestall sessions separately. Call your consultant if you are interested in attending or hosting a session with a small group of producers. Cow Signals makes you look outside the box to increase production and cow comfort!
Congrats goes out to the East Central Holstein Tour that was very well attended!
Most of you have probably heard by now of ‘Cow Signals’, whether it be through the Purina ads in the The Milk Producer, Ontario Dairy Farmer, your consultant, or most recently at Stratford’s CDX (Canadian Dairy XPO). Started by Vet Dr. Joep Driessen of the Netherlands, it is a concept based on looking at cattle’s observations & their surroundings. Cows put out signals every moment of everyday, you just need to know how to read the signals - and Purina consultants have been trained to do just that! Speak to your consultant to learn more about how we can help you on your farm, or if you would like to participate in a workshop. Purina is the only company in Canada trained, and we look forward to working with you.
"Happy Cows- Happy Producers”.
So far this winter we have seen a lot of snow and more of our fair share of ice! I was speaking with Barry Robinson from Mapleseed last week about the excessive ice laying in the alfalfa fields. My question to him was do you anticipate a lot of winter kill with all the ice we have had recently? His answer was right in line with what I was thinking. In years where we are certain that there will be a lot of winterkill, we end up with no winterkill and years where we think there will be no winterkill we have severe winterkill! It seems to be a combination of a lot of factors, including when spring is close and we get a lot of freezing and thawing which causes the plant to break. All we can do at this point is keep your fingers crossed that alfalfa hangs in there for another year! I was told many years ago that a good maple syrup year will mean a hard season on alfalfa due to the freezing and thawing. We will see!
It looks like another year is about to slip by. How the time flies when you are having fun! It looks like the fall harvest is winding down with excellent yields and quality. Too bad the price had to drop or we would all be in the sunny south for the winter with a big bank account! LOL
On the dairy side, milk seems to be rolling out the door in good amounts, good BF and protein. Anyone that needs a ration updated, please give us a call.
I would like to thank all our loyal customers that have supported us over the years. Your business is very much appreciated! In the New Year, we will be getting our ROF meetings going again that have been so successful in the past.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
We all know that every year brings new challenges in the dairy business! Well this year is no different. Most producers have an abundance of feed inventory and many of you are selling the excess with the excellent yields we have enjoyed this season. I always figured that extra feed inventory is money in the bank!
On the ration side, I am finding the forages this year are running low in sugar which is causing low sugar TMR levels. This can affect milk and protein production. I have a few producers that are adding sugar to the supplement to increase TMR sugar levels with good results for the past year. Call me if you want your ration updated.
Most producers this year are finding milk and component levels are running above average. Some producers are up 34 to 35 litres per cow with 4 % BF! That will look really nice when an ROF is done. Talking about ROF, it is that time of year, when we usually start up our very popular ROF meetings. If you have any topics that you would like discussed, please talk to your consultant about it. Let us know if you would like an ROF done on your herd.
Finally, it is that time of year when seed orders are taken. We have lots of good plot data on silage, grain corn and soybeans
We recently had our annual Corn Silage day and as usual the moistures were all over the map. The lowest was around 61% moisture and the highest being around 79%. Many samples came back drier than they looked, possibly from the spell of dry hot weather that we had at the end of August, causing the cob to pull moisture from the stalk to finish. Make sure to check fields regularly so the silage doesn’t get too dry on you. It looks like a great crop out there! There are also challenges out there like we all know (who ever said farming was easy!). I am seeing more rootworm than I ever have. Bird damage is higher than normal. (We have to feed the wildlife too you know!) I have already noticed a fair bit of molds in fields, which will increase the Mycotoxins in the silage. I would say this is a must year to inoculate your silage to stop Vomitoxin growth while it is in storage. Make sure to order your Lallemand inoculant from us! It is simply the best inoculant on the market today. Many producers that are currently using it will attest to that. Happy harvesting and be careful out there!
Inoculants are a great way to preserve the feeding value of your forage. We carry two products - Biotal Super-Sile and Biotal Buchneri 500 which are $63.75 and $130.00 respectively per pouch. They each treat 50 MT of forage for a cost per MT of $ 1.27 or $ 2.60. The Super-Sile product contains lactic acid producing bacteria that help to improve the digestibility of forage and reduce the DM loss by encouraging rapid pH reduction. The Biotal 500 product with Buchneri has all of the same benefits as the Super-Sile, plus it has 2 specific strains of bacteria. One has been selected for a fast pH drop to stabilize the forage. The other strain has been selected for its ability to reduce yeast and mold spoilage. This results in less waste and better hygienic feed quality for improved stability at feed out. You spend a lot of time, effort and money to harvest your forages. Inoculants are a relatively inexpensive way to preserve and protect them.
Incentive Days Are Here!
Producers will be working with extra incentive days August through November. With present milk prices, feeding calves milk replacer provides a 2:1 return on investment. With consistent nutrition provided to your calves, a decreased risk of disease transmission and an improved mixability product, Purina's milk replacer line is a great economical opportunity and management strategy that could work in your herd. Don`t forget about Purina`s 22:18 Milk Chow with Deccox. It is the only milk replacer in Ontario registered with Deccox to provide that extra Cocci control.
Cool-Aid…A new Solution for Heat Stress in Dairy Cattle
Purina has just introduced a new product called Cool-Aid. It is a natural plant extract that works similar to Gatorade in athletes. It works by moderating the core body temperature in lactating cows and also lowering rumen PH to help with the typical Dry Matter Intake drop that we often see in the mid summer heat with high humidity. Data shows that an increase of 0.9 degrees in body temperature results in a decrease in conception rates of 12.8%! Cool –Aid was fed in the US last year with great success. Cows showed better expression of heats and higher first service conception rates. Purina's ROF data shows that producers generally drop by $1.00 on their ROF/cow /day in a typical summer due to heat stress. Cool- Aid should be fed from mid June to the end of August. We can add it to your Purina pellet or in your CFS supplement or Complete Feed made at our mill.
Bottom Line…Reduce that typical summer time drop in milk yield and BF% and increase your conception rates at the same time! Sounds like a must try product to me! Call your feed rep for more info.
I am finding most producers are over producing milk right now. That's a good problem, I guess. Some producers are talking about lowering the overall protein level in the TMR's. That is a bad idea for a whole pile of reasons. That is a short term fix for a long term problem. Lowering protein will lower production for sure, but let's think about spring & then summer and then fall incentives! Summer time heat & humidity always lower milk yield and BF%, so you will not be sending as many kg of BF out the door this spring & summer. With the ROF club running, producers are working hard to keep the ROF up all year long. Therefore cutting production now will lower your ROF from now until next winter. Not a good idea! To compound the problem, DFO now has the SNF ratio that you must keep which is hard to do in the summer time heat. Cutting protein in your TMR now will also affect your breeding program later on! I would recommend drying up cows early if possible or selling some meat cows. Most producers are low on feed inventories this year, so that will help stretch your feed until your new forages are off.
It`s that season where it seems there are meetings, farm shows, and Ag tours happening every week, easily filling your schedules during these winter months. We usually host a day meeting where we bring in speakers to talk to you, but we decided to try a new concept this year. Running with our ROF club, we have taken our meeting ‘out of the classroom' and are asking what you would like to learn! We had a very successful meeting held at Emdrdale Holsteins that focused around transition cows- nutrition, management, and disease prevention. We`d like to thank the Stockdale family for opening their farm to fellow producers and Dr. Rob Walsh for providing very insightful information. I think everyone left that day with a new piece of information. With feed costs high and inventories tight, ROF`s are becoming a more important tool. Speak to your sales rep for more information on the ROF program.
The Canadian Dairy XPO was a new highly anticipated dairy show held in Stratford, and I`m sure all that attended can say it was quite an impressive event! We took a bus of producers to Stratford, where we took in the first day of the show, and visited a couple of farms on the following day. If you didn`t attend this year, plan to attend next year. We will be doing a bus trip again!
There is always a discussion around the proper moisture level in a TMR….too dry or too wet. There is lots of research that recommends that there is a proper moisture level. With storage methods being very diverse from bunk silos to upright silos to Agbags to wrapped baleage, TMR moisture levels can be all over the map. I find Dry Matter Intake and milk production are highest when the TMR moistures are around 45 to 50%. Below 45% moisture, the TMR is too dry leading to sorting that can increase acidosis, lower butterfat and lead to sore feet. This is compounded when forage particles are too long. TMR`s that are high in moisture lead to lower Dry Matter Intake due to the filling effect it has on the rumen which can cause lower milk production. What is the moisture level on your TMR!
Well, it looks like another Canadian winter is upon us again. The weather is cooling down, all the cattle are inside for the winter, the feed is well fermented in storage, the milk incentives are over and milk production is flowing like crazy for most producers! A lot of producers have made the comment that they have never sent as much milk out the door as this year. Its funny how things all come together when the incentives are over and the feeds are well fermented. I guess we cannot have it all! It would be nice once in a while though!
We are in the planning stages for our ROF meetings in the New Year. If anyone has an idea for the meeting, please let your consultant know. Everyone is invited, so talk to your neighbors and friends about what it can do for them.
Transition cows are generally a part of the herd that can usually use some improvement. It is easy to overlook these cows when we are in the fields doing crop work, but they are, one of the most important. Cows that get off to a poor start in lactation are usually low in production, last to get bred and vulnerable to all sorts of diseases. Purina has many Transition Cow products, but my favourite is TC Enhancer Net. We have many producers currently using it with great success. It is highly palatable & contains sources of digestible fibre and varied sources of sugars and starches to stimulate rumen function. Feeding rate is 3.5 kg/day pre-calving and 2.5 kg/day post calving. It is a must try product to get your cows off to a good start.
We have been in quite a few BMR fields and we have been very impressed with how it has withstood the drought and yielded right up there with the other silage corns. This has been the primary objection we have encountered regarding the product and that issue has been clearly resolved on the Mycogen product! So agronomics is not the issue. The best stalks at chipper day were BMR. The real question is, can I use it on my farm and can the person who does my ration be able to utilize it properly? We have heard in the past that BMR feels softer, heavier in my bucket and I am feeding less corn (at $320/tonne). The real question is, can it make me money? The answer is clearly yes, with the qualifier being the ability to properly balance it in the feed program. So now that silage is off, be thinking about next year and whether I want to use BMR in my ration. The only challenge for this year is going to be SUPPLY OF SEED! The popularity of the product in the rest of the province and the drought in the seed production area has greatly impacted seed availability for BMR. If you want it– please order it soon.
We are seeing high levels of toxin all over our area and at these levels it can have a huge impact on your bottom line. If you need it tested, call your consultant or one of our stores.
As producers crank up production to meet quota incentives, we are always looking at ways to get extra milk sold. Milk-replacer prices have dropped recently and Purina has introduced a new product that is a 22% CP and 18% fat that has Deccox. All producers that have tried this product are really happy with calf performance and the coccidiosis control that comes with it. A first for the industry! So now, you can ship the extra milk to meet incentives and have the healthiest calves you have ever had! Please give us a call to try this product!
Where is the rain? This is two years in a row that I have come back from holidays and we are in a drought situation! Not good! Looks like I will have to do my rain dance again!
(don't be laughing)
Meanwhile in the barn, most herds have had a drop in BF %. That is typical in the summer heat. Do anything to keep Dry Matter Intake up. We also have some additives, if needed, to keep BF % up. Palm Fat can help in some cases. It also condenses the energy fraction of the ration to help weight loss in the summer heat that helps with summer time breeding.
P.S. Anyone that wants to do my rain dance with me, don't be afraid to call me @705-872-7569
Many dairy producers have experienced how Vomitoxin can affect their herds. We are going to be doing a field trial with Bayer this year on Proline. It is a fungicide that is sprayed at tassel that can reduce Vomitoxin levels by 48% in Corn Silage. That is a very significant decrease when levels can get as high as 3ppm. Call me if you want to discuss how you can reduce vomitoxin on your farm!
Haylage samples are returning from the lab as expected…lower protein and higher ADF and NDF. Many producers lost significant amounts of alfalfa from winter kill and that will hurt farm profitability for the year. With the rains we have had recently, hopefully we will get a good quality 2nd and 3rd cut. I was recently talking to a well known nutritionist from the States and he made the comment that only Canadians have enough patience and determination to do haylage each and every year! They like their high Corn Silage diets. I am starting to wonder about it myself! Ja
Our first ROF club meeting was a big success on March 22. It was a beautiful sunny warm day and I know some producers missed the meeting because they were in the fields planting crops. (Who would have thunk it.) The afternoon was spent at the new Tummon Robot Milker barn in Hastings County (nice barn). A lot of questions were asked which raised a lot of discussion among producers. The feedback from the meeting was very good, so we are already planning for next season which will start up again in the late fall. These meetings are open to anyone, so if you have a friend or relative that is interested for next season please bring them along. The crop season is upon us! This is the first season we have switched some corn seed to higher heat units in season. Anyone interested in putting in plots, let us know so we can get the plot seed to you.
Thanks to those producers who were able to make our dairy meeting. We try to pick topics that are relevant to you and the issues you currently have on farm. This year's topics touched on High Forage Diets. High forage diets are diets that are over 65% forage. I recently did a ration for one of Shawn's customers that ended up at 74.8% forage! Yes, 74.8% forage, that is not a typo! He feeds half conventional NK 29T corn silage and half high protein baleage along with HMC. He cut the corn silage high, leaving extra stubble on the ground. The ration actually was low in fibre and high in total fat. We needed to add some dry hay to the TMR to get fibre levels where they needed to be. We also had to restrict the distillers in the ration due to the high fat levels. The total cost to feed a cow in this herd was only $4.16. That includes all forages and grains. That is an incredibly cheap ration! That is a profitable ration! What is your cost per cow per day? What is your percent forage in the diet?
If you were unable to attend the Dairy Meeting, talk to Erin, Jake, Ken, or Shawn to find out about all the helpful information you missed! They may have some extra information packages with them.
That should be the winter season, one area that we should review is our calf nutrition program. A young calf on a cold night in a hutch (-10C) requires almost 50% more energy compared to the same calf at 17C just to maintain its weight. Consumption of feeds becomes more crucial in the winter in order to keep calves growing. If you are using a milk replacer ensure it is a high fat, high protein and all milk product such as our new Purina 22 -18 with deccox. Many customers have commented that the new product mixes very well and consumption has been excellent. This is not the time of year to be taking chances with low energy calf starters. Intake is the key and the foundation of good intake is palatability. Purina is Ontario's leader in calf nutrition and CFS has the calf feeds that fit your farm. Talk to us about Stature and Startena ? solid calf feeds for cold weather.
On the dairy side, vomitoxin levels have again raised their ugly head. Some producers have elevated levels that can cause some serious problems. Please let us know if you suspect that your levels might be high. It is a simple test that we send to Purina Lab. Dairyman's Choice or Integral can usually control the high levels at a reasonable cost. If you let the problem persist, breeding or production can be severely affected.
Well, the results are in! The BMR yield results are looking better than ever! This past season a lot of producers purchased BMR to take a look at it in the field and to see what it does in the barn, where the proof is in the pudding. We did some silage weigh off trials this season and BMR won most of them against some high heat unit varieties. Some varieties were 300 heat units higher than the BMR F2F387! There seems to be a lot of confusion and misconceptions about BMR, probably because it is a relatively new crop in this area. I recently toured western Ont. and most dairy producers there would not grow anything else but BMR.I would be happy to talk to anyone interested in growing it next year. It would make you, your cows and your banker happy too! Jake
Looks like the 2011 Corn Silage harvest is upon us. Ranges of moisture were all over the map as expected due to the stretched out planting season. Just a reminder to all the BMR customers that moistures between 60% to 68% are very important due to the high digestibility of the BMR, higher moistures than this makes the BMR even more digestible and very soluble. Also keep length of cut in mind, it needs to be longer than normal and processing it would be ideal. Using our high quality inoculants puts the icing on the cake. Happy and safe harvesting!
With Silage harvest getting started and High Moisture Corn following shortly, the benefits of using a good Inoculant can pay big dividends. Reducing storage losses and reducing feed out spoilage and heating are two of the main benefits. Using Buchneri on your high moisture corn and adding Supersile with the Buchneri to your Corn Silage will improve fermentation and provide consistent quality feed. It is not as expensive as you think!
Well, it is Aug 15 and I think another summer has passed us by. Some people will say it was a nice hot summer, but the milk cows say something else. Milk and B.F. have both been hurt this summer and most producers are struggling to fill incentives and quota. Now that cooler weather is ahead of us, the cows need a properly balanced ration to get back on track. With protein prices where they are today, there is no room for error with an unbalanced ration. Call today to get your feed sampled and a ration done. Our Opti-Lac program is a superior software program that focuses on rumen health.
It is also grass seed season. 4S417 alfalfa from Mycogen continues to impress me. It is there new Hybrid Alfalfa that yields.
The announcement of extra incentive days throughout the summer months means extra money in your pocket- so why not take full advantage of it. Most will be looking to ship as much milk as possible, with the pressure of summer heat on milk production and butterfat, utilizing milk replacer allows producers to ship their maximum amount of saleable milk. Purina offers a full line of milk replacers to satisfy all needs, take note of their two new releases featuring Deccox-M to protect your calves against coccidiosis right from week 1.
Although I am sure that everyone is busy trying to get the seeds in the ground, given the late spring we are having, I just wanted to remind you that haylage is just around the corner (can you believe it). I always thought that haylage was a crop that basically determined your profitability for the entire year on the dairy farm. As you know, protein prices are not cheap today, so it is so important to get the haylage in storage in the best possible condition. Silage inoculants have come a long way in the last 5 years as far as lowering ph very quickly to ensure Lactic Acid production is maximized to get a good fermentation. They also now control heating and secondary fermentation at the back end of the process when the silage is taken out of storage to maximize Dry Matter Intake. I realize that it is hard to physically see the results of inoculants right away, but we have more and more producers using our Lalimand Inoculants and they are seeing the results in increased milk!
Jake recently attended the Bovine Practitioners Conference in Guelph which covers everything from far-off dry cows to close-up dry cows to peak milk nutrition to new ventilation methods to barn air conditioning. All the scientific research you can think of was covered in this conference.
The greatest amount of time was used covering ways to increase Dry Matter Intake in close-up dry cows and fresh cows. You say that is nothing new?and you are right! It still is all about ways to increase DMI to get us to the next production level! The other big topic was Digestible NDF Research. Schools are working hard to incorporate dNDF in the new ration software models to be able to increase production. There is also a push to develop crops that increase dNDF and to lower the lignin levels that are not digestible, that just take space in the rumen.
It now looks like it is going to be a compressed spring on the crop side, that requires long work hours. Please work safe and have a good spring!
There has been much talk at meetings this winter about the importance of proper colostrum delivery to calves. The most important points to remember are Quickly and Quality. Feeding 4L to large breed calves within the first hour will result in the best absorption- did you know that after 6 hrs the calf can only absorb 50% of the immunoglobulins? Quick delivery also reduces the amount of bacteria growth that can occur, allowing the calf a chance to have a clean first meal.
Quality is key, as the point of feeding colostrum is to get immunoglobulins into the calves system as soon as possible. As calves are born without immune systems, providing them with the best defense ASAP is very important to keep a calf healthy and get them off to a proper start to develop into a profitable cow for your herd.
Our stores offer you the colostrum replacer ?Immu-Start? which is often used when you are short colostrum on the first milking and as a disease control measure. ?Jump Start? is a colostrum supplement to be used in addition to the regular feeding. The paste comes in a tube, providing that extra boost to calves when colostrum quality is an issue or used as a proactive measure. Our team would be happy to answer any questions you have about calf feeding and management. Thank You
There seems to be a lot of talk these days about the current quota situation and lack of ability to buy quota. There is also talk about if you cannot buy quota, then just continue to fill quota with the barn stalls full. The second part scares me a little. Everyone in the service industry tries to make the dairy industry more efficient. If producers decide to give up some of those efficiencies to keep the stalls full, we have now lowered our overall profitability on the farm. What I am trying to say is it is ok to have some empty stalls. The bottom line is to send as much milk out the milkhouse door as possible with the least number of cows to produce it! Extra cows are not cheap to feed, so why have them on the farm?
Thanks to those producers who attended our crop and dairy meetings. We had an excellent turn-out on a bad weather day. If there is any topic you think should be discussed at our meetings, please talk to us about it. These meeting are your meetings!
It is that time of year when we hopefully have a little extra time on our hands to do some catch-up. It is also the time of year for meetings!
Purina has a very successful Return Over Feed Program (ROFP) that takes only minutes to complete and gives you plenty of information. Please call me at 705-872-7569 to do your ROFP.
If you still have not booked your crop inputs for next year, we still have a good selection of products left. Looks like crop prices are going to be strong for a while.
Purina has done a lot of work in the area of Milk Urea Nitrogen(MUN) in the recent years. With DHI doing NIR testing of MUN more producers are using this service. Early MUN work associated high protein diets with high MUN levels, although this was not consistent with findings in all studies or all cows in the same trial. There are plenty of reasons that MUN levels can fluctuate
(a) Time of sampling vs. time of feeding (some cows can vary from 12 to 20 on the same diet, solely due to time of sampling, (this can be an issue with herds on AM/PM testing)
This further emphasizes the point that at least two tests should be done on the herd prior to taking any corrective action with the nutritional program.
We have a full article on the subject that we can give out to interested producers.
As all of you know, protein prices have taken a significant increase. I guess we can thank USDA and China for that. A couple of analysts have predicted $7.00 Chicago corn and $14.00 soybeans! That is really bad news for the dairy producer and really good news for the crop producers. It is a tough world out there!!
Dairy farmers have always had a difficult task every season picking corn silage varieties. It is not getting any easier!! Not only do you need to pick a variety, but now we have a large assortment of traits to choose from, always having cost in mind and what works for you in your system.
My thoughts on Corn silage are (here we go) for dairy producer is to give what the cow needs and wants to maximize your profits!
I would pick a variety in this order (a) Net Energy Lactation Value-the higher the better?more energy in the silage so we do not need to feed as much dry or HMC. (b)NDF Digestibility-the higher the better?the cows simply eat more forage (cheapest feed on farm) so we can decrease grain feeding and have a healthy and happy rumen.(c)Yield-Remember ?feed what the cow wants and needs. High yielding varieties generally have a lower Net Energy Value (not what cow the wants or needs)(d)Traits?Now you pick the traits you need and prefer!!!
Every Seed Company works very hard to breed new traits and varieties for the farmer. My favourite Corn Silage varieties are?(here we go again) NK Line-up (a) N27B?top notch NEL with high NDF Digestibility and yield. Available with all traits if needed. (b)N29A?Good quality feed with high end yield, good value for your dollar!!
Mycogen Line-up?With 1 year under our belt, we are very impressed with the very high NDF Digestibility, NEL and yield with BMR. Years ago BMR was knocked for the yield drag that it carried. Mycogen has worked very long and hard to decrease yield drag to 10% now?field plots in this area have proven that.
I have several rations using BMR and found that we can reduce feeding HMC or Dry Corn by 2 kg/cow/day and increase production with it. An average 50 cow herd using BMR can save $7300/yr?The Ultimate Corn Silage!!! With two Seed Companies, we have something for everyone.
Research shows that mycotoxins are mostly soil borne, so once the soil is infected, the infection is there to stay. Our only defense at this time is to use Buchneri 40788 in forages and High Moisture Grains to stop or minimize mycotoxin growth in storage. We all know that open cows can be very expensive!!!
Enough with the heat and humidity already!! The cows have had a difficult summer coping generally dropping BF by 2 to 3 pts and milk by 2 to 3 litres.With the additional quota and fall incentives, it is important to fill your quota. If you want some feed samples taken or ration fine tuning done, give us a call.
Vomitoxin has again raised its ugly head. Recent TMR samples have shown a sharp increase in Vomitoxin levels. High Vomitoxin levels play havoc on reproduction. We carry several products to lessen the severity of the effects of high vomitoxin. Inoculants on corn silage and high moisture corn stop the multiplying of vomitoxins in storage, as it is much cheaper to be proactive than reactive.
Summer has officially arrived, and with it another heat wave of hot, humid weather. A drop in milk components over the summer is as common as the loss of dry matter intake (DMI) and milk production.
Temperatures as low as 23C with almost 100 percent humidity will begin to induce heat stress. So why the big drop in milk? As the mercury rises cows respond in several ways, but their first and most significant response is to eat less!
LOWER DMI=LOWER MILK PRODUCTION
There is typically a 1 to 2 day delay from when DMI drops until a drop in milk production is seen therefore it is not uncommon for milk to continue dropping after the worst of the heat stress has passed.
-Always provide plenty of clean fresh water (high producing lactating cows will drink more than 200 litres of water /day)
-Keep fans on at night to help cool cows completely
-Feed during the coolest time of the day to stimulate DMI
-Ensure TMR stays cool
-Balance for actual DMI, not predicted DMI
-Increase energy with fats not starches
-Decreased DMI =slower passage rate?proper balance of nutrients to maximize digestion is key
-Higher levels of potassium and magnesium are necessary because of higher losses (panting, urine, sweat).
Look for signs along the road on the BMR corn. So far it is some of the best corn out there. Hard to tell any volume loss but we will have some good numbers soon. The reason we will have them soon is that corn Silage this year might mean August. The general take is 45 days after tassel. Depending on when you planted your silage corn get the harvester ready for August. Another note on silage is that we are now carrying the innoculant Bucheri 40788 from Lallimand. Our dairy team will be around to show you the numbers on how well it works. We have had a few of our customers using it and with complete satisfaction.
Some of the new crop haylage/baleage have been sent away and the early results indicate that the protein is lower and NDF is higher than normal this year. This is probably due to the above average amount of grass in the stand. Most producers? yields are half to three quarters normal. Mother Nature truly is the boss!!!
Please call if you need haylage/baleage samples sent away to rebalance your ration.
We are continuing to see great results from Dairyman`s Choice yeast products in milk rations, dry cow rations and heifer rations.
We are also seeing nice results in 4H calves fed Dairyman`s Choice. Call to discuss your 4H calf needs!