Photoperiod Sensitive (PPS) Sorghum Sudan (SxS) crosses are a useful forage for dry cows and heifers. PPS is a Non-GMO trait of the sorghum family. The trait prevents the plant from going reproductive (heading out) until the daylight gets shorter than 12 hours and 20 minutes. This occurs each year about mid-September (depending on your latitude). If we want the highest dairy-quality forage, SxS Continue Reading
Foraging Ahead Articles
uNDF240, the New Lignin
One of the biggest advancements in feed analysis from our forage testing labs has been the addition of uNDF240 as a measure of indigestibility. While NDFD30 is an estimate of the amount of fiber digested in 30 hours of contact with rumen fluid, uNDF240 is the amount that is undigested in 240 hrs. The concept is that after 10 days in rumen fluid the remaining fiber will not digest further. This Continue Reading
Little by Little
Little by little, the dairy industry is being compelled to move in other directions due to many market forces. With inflation and its effects on the cost of everything, plus the comparatively small ramp up in milk prices, the squeeze is on. Forage Innovations has been an outside-the-box thinker and leader on almost all aspects of surviving in this brave new world of animal Continue Reading
Where have all the alfalfas gone? We may soon be wondering!
By Larry Hawkins, PAS I guess maybe it is just being old, (and my fractured syntax), but the reference is from a song by Peter, Paul and Mary (in 1962 – seems like yesterday!) Where have all the flowers gone? Yes, especially in the Upper Midwest and NE, we may soon or perhaps already are wondering, what happened to our alfalfa? The combinations of little snow in some areas, dry conditions and Continue Reading
My Forage Looks the Same but is Not Feeding Like Last Year!
From time-to-time, questions come up which inspire a newsletter article. The question from this title has been around longer than feed testing! (Feed-testing labs began to come on the scene in the 70s and yes, I was there!). This is just to say this problem is an age-old occurrence. Obviously, there are many reasons milk production on a modern dairy can go down but let us assume all the other Continue Reading
Sorting through All the Noise — Is Alfalfa Necessary During High Protein Prices?
Since my last article, How to Make Alfalfa Better, appeared, several seemingly compelling articles appeared in the “popular dairy press” about the necessity or at least the value of alfalfa to supply protein for relief of the high protein (soybean) prices. I want to break down these ideas on the basis of what we are doing at Forage Innovations. Let’s first look at what we think should be some Continue Reading
How to Make Alfalfa Better
Some of you might consider that this topic would not be addressed by Daniel and me. At Forage Innovations, we are not the biggest promotors of alfalfa, but when we do use more permanent rotations on farms, alfalfa becomes, many times the most viable option. As a matter of fact, to prove we know what we are talking about, in the 2021 World Dairy Expo Forage Analysis Superbowl, the Grand Continue Reading
Why Following Sorghum-Sudan with Corn is such a Good Idea
BMR Sorghum-Sudan (SxS) has been around for approximately 20 years. During this time, we began seeing its value as a quality forage for high-producing dairy cows and began moving it farther north from its typical homes of Texas and Kansas. One thing became completely clear, when especially corn, but any crop followed SxS, it seemed thenext crop did better! Could it just be the effects of ordinary Continue Reading
Grasses — The Roots of Regenerative Agriculture
by Larry Hawkins, PAS The benefits of alfalfa roots are well known and understood. This article will be about the benefits of the roots of both cool and warm season grasses. With the emergence of Regenerative Agriculture, grasses play an important and almost necessary role. We will look at grasses and their root systems and especially their ability to increase and improve organic matter I Continue Reading