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Forage Sampling

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By Alex Austin, B.S.

It is important to sample forages before adding them to a livestock diet. Sampling allows producers to have a balanced ration for their livestock and test for mycotoxins. It also gives farmers a snapshot into their agronomy, harvesting and storage practices. The results of a forage sample will only be as good as the technique and effort that went in to obtaining it.

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Anti-Nutritional Trends And Thoughts With 2017 Feeds Across The Midwest

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By  Dr. John Goeser, Phd, PAS & Dipl. ACAN-Rock River Laboratory, Inc.

Contributing Editor

Historically, mold, yeast and mycotoxins are thought of as the primary contaminants in feed that rob high performing dairy cattle of health and nutrition. More recently, stress and pathogenic bacteria have been better recognized as contributing factors that interact with fungal and mycotoxin contaminants. See Figure 1.

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The Importance Of Forage Testing

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By Dan Leiterman

The age old question of “How often should I test my forage?” has a different answer for every operation. Field sizes, crop varieties, harvest timing, and storage methods play an important role in determining forage testing needs. It is important to watch for changes in forage quality by observing your cows. Dry matter is the one exception for testing needs, as this should be evaluated weekly. There are several low cost, on-farm testing options available to monitor the dry matter of forages, such as a Koster tester or a microwave.

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Ask The Vet / Ask The Nutritionist

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How do you determine the right time to harvest corn silage and how long should I wait before feeding this year’s silage?”

The proper timing of harvesting corn silage is of the utmost importance. If corn silage is harvested when it is too wet, it can grow mold and/or clostridia and there is a greater chance that butyric acid will form leading to dry matter loss, poor feed quality and decreased feed intake. Harvesting corn silage when it is too dry will cause poor packing in the storage structure, poor fermentation and possible heating in the bunk. All of these factors can lead to an increased dry matter loss during fermentation, spoilage and poor bunk life. Dry corn silage is also less digestible. Harvesting corn silage at just the right time will produce high quality silage which will result in optimum animal performance. Factors to consider when harvesting corn silage include:

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Inoc-U-Lock™ Provides Significant Returns To Livestock Producers

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By Dan Leiterman

Properly inoculating livestock feedstuffs with Inoc-U-Lock can provide many benefits to the producer. Benefits include reduced dry matter loss during storage, reduced nutrient loss (protein, energy) during storage, improved aerobic stability for less mold and yeast growth on storage face and a reduced risk of heating in the bunk. Inoc-U-Lock  also supports higher dry matter intake, improved production and stronger profitability; all key reasons why so many producers are using Inoc-U-Lock.

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Introducing Crystal Creek®’s Inoc-U-Lock™ Buchneri

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By Dan Leiterman

The very foundation of profitable livestock production relies on feeding high quality feedstuffs. Also, the need to feed high quality forages which are critical to a healthy bottom line for any dairy or beef producer, is a well understood principle in the industry. Over the years research has shown that applying a good inoculant to feedstuffs at the time of ensiling can provide a significant return on investment for the producer. A well designed inoculant program will help speed fermentation to reduce dry matter loss, reduce protein degradation, reduce lost energy (sugars), stabilize the face quality and improve bunk shelf life. Additional benefits include enhanced dry matter intake, improved feedstuff digestibility, improved milk and meat production and ultimately improved profits for the producer. Using a good inoculant like Inoc-U-Lock™ is a smart business decision. The focus of this article is to explain the Inoc-U-Lock™ controlled fermentation process and to describe where the L. buchneri bacteria may fit into your program.

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“Ask The Vet and Ask The Nutritionist”

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By Teresa Marker, B.S.


“Two years ago in Wisconsin we had drought-like growing conditions and I experienced molds & mycotoxins in my feedstuffs.  The 2014 growing season brought ample amounts of rain.  Are my worries about mold and mycotoxins over?”

J.S. from Central Wisconsin

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