Spring is in the air, and it’s time for dairy farmers to think and plan for the 2010 crop. Read below for information on StollerUSA’s Alfalfa Program.
Stoller’s Director of Bioscience, Dr. Ron Salzman, explained the Stoller technology while reviewing university research results and showing images from field trials. StollerUSA field representative, Don Stork also shared what Stoller’s Alfalfa Program involves and the benefits it delivers.
Stork shared results from a dairy farm that followed Stoller’s alfalfa program. The Vos family of Burlington, Wisc. began adding Stoller products to the foliar insecticide spray application used on their alfalfa. Bio-Forge® is the key to Stoller’s Alfalfa Program, applied approximately seven days after each hay cutting to boost root growth and plant vigor. Bio-Forge is a yield enhancer and stress reducer for all crops. It offsets the negative effects of plant stress caused by drought, excessive moisture, frost, herbicide damage and other crop stressors. Bio-Forge keeps the root systems functioning normally under stressed conditions promoting more normal growth activity. This allows more impressive second cuttings and improved digestibility.
Second generation dairy farmers Ray and Ron Vos, like all dairy farmers, are working to manage their operation by looking for efficiencies and improved ROI. The result of their use of the Stoller Alfalfa Program was exceptionally healthy hay with increased tonnage and feed value. With just four cuttings they calculated 6.7 tons of dry matter/acre.
The increased tonnage allowed them to manage their feed needs efficiently – eliminating the previous year’s $11,000 expense of buying alfalfa from an outside source. In addition, the quality of the feed improved significantly. The second cutting feed analysis of the Bio-Forge-treated alfalfa showed an Relative Feed Value (RFV) rating of 189 with a 21.26% crude protein level. This represents a significant increase from recent regional data showing the average RFV as 145-160. In addition, the Vos operation noted higher milk production – with over 28% of the herd averaging milk production of over 100 lbs/day.
In addition to the short-term feed benefits of applying Stoller products to their alfalfa, the Vos operation anticipates their alfalfa fields will be more productive for many more years to come. New seeding performance offered a glimpse into the hearty nature of Bio-Forge-treated alfalfa fields – with a tall stand and blooms appearing eight days after a hard October frost.