Raising the Bar Enhances Corn Silage

Chuck Zimmerman

Improved fiber digestibility can be a major benefit of chopping corn silage higher, according to Dr. Bill Mahanna, coordinator of global nutritional sciences for Pioneer Hi-Bred. While raising the cutting bar reduces tonnage, Bill points out the nutritional gains can be substantially rewarding. Specific adjustments should be determined case-by-case, and he suggests what factors should drive those decisions. He also …

Audio, Forage Forum, General, Podcast

Automatic Milking In Norway

Chuck Zimmerman

SkallerudsToday I got to visit a dairy operation which is pretty big business in Norway. We toured the Smestad farm. Pictured here are our hosts, Ole Kristian and Randi Skallerud.

The interesting part of the dairy is that they’re using an automatic milking system from DeLaval. So before we event went into the barn we learned more about robotic milking.

Audio, International, Milk, Video

Shared Expectations for Better Corn Silage

Chuck Zimmerman

Pioneer Hi-Bred Forage Forum PodcastAn up-front dialogue between the nutritionist and custom cutter can pay dividends, says Dr. Bill Mahanna, coordinator of global nutritional sciences for Pioneer Hi-Bred. A nutritionist’s ration plans can change year-to-year, so variables such as length of chop and degree of processing should be adjusted accordingly. If the nutritionist shows desirable corn silage samples to the custom cutter and clarifies needs in advance, it diminishes subjectivity and improves everyone’s satisfaction. Bill has suggestions for encouraging this face-to-face planning. Listen to them and tell Bill your experiences.

Audio, Forage Forum, Pioneer Hi-Bred

Attempt to Derail Livestock Permitting Program Thwarted

Andy Vance

Ohio is well known among State Departments of Agriculture for its Livestock Environmental Permitting Program – it is one of the most well regulated state programs in the country, permitting and inspecting over 157 large livestock operations in a state with a very tight rural-urban interface. These facilities, in the case of dairy, are larger than 700 animal units, and require a permit to build facilities, and a permit to operate once constructed. For the past year, ODA has been defending the program from an appeal waged by Citizens Against Megafarm Dairy Development before the Environmental Review Appeals Commision.

I spoke with ODA’s Director of Communication Melanie Wilt about the decision in the case, and learned how the attempt at curbing the regulatory program actually galvonized it. Listen to Melanie Wilt Discuss the ERAC Decision (7:51 mp3)

Audio, Government, Production

Reality-Driven Pricing for Corn Silage

Chuck Zimmerman

Pioneer Hi-Bred Forage Forum PodcastShould the cost of purchasing corn silage be driven by quantity or quality? Dr. Bill Mahanna, coordinator of global nutritional sciences for Pioneer Hi-Bred, believes in retiring the 30-year-old rule of thumb, the Board of Trade price for corn times six or seven. Current lab methods and credible indexes are more accurate in determining relative values to dairy operators and fairly compensating silage growers. Bill details various pricing opportunities in a spreadsheet, which he’s willing to share. For a copy, e-mail him at bill.mahanna@pioneer.com.

Audio, Forage Forum, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Podcast