BASF declares Force Majeure for Vitamin A and E and several Carotenoids


“The vitamin marketplace has become a volatile place. Supplies of Vitamin E and A have become short causing a sharp spike in pricing. This article outlines the event that has led to the shortage in the market. Outlook for the next several months until the pipeline is filled again is high and increased pricing for vitamin items. For questions regarding your ration and some techniques we are using to ensure economic feeding strategies please feel free to contact the mill or your sales representative.”

Dustin Millard, Feed Department Manager 

BASF declares Force Majeure for Vitamin A and E and several Carotenoids
  • Plant shutdown after fire in Citral plant
  • Restart of downstream plants after scheduled maintenance not possible

Ludwigshafen, Germany, November 10, 2017 – On October 31, a fire occurred during the startup of the Citral plant in Ludwigshafen. Consequently, BASF had to shut down the plant and had to declare Force Majeure for its Citral and Isoprenol based aroma ingredients.

BASF’s Vitamin A and E plants are currently also shut down for scheduled, routine maintenance. The company will only be able to restart these plants once supply of Citral is re-established and the corresponding intermediates for Vitamin A and E become available.

As the cleaning process, follow-up inspection, repair and restart of the Citral plant will take several weeks, BASF is forced to extend the Force Majeure to Vitamin A and E and, in consequence, to several Carotenoid products.

The impact of the Force Majeure situation as well as the effects for customers resulting therefrom are being evaluated at the moment. Meanwhile, BASF is implementing measures to limit the consequences of the situation.

BASF will continuously inform its customers about the development and the details regarding the supply capability of the affected products.

Original Source: BASF News Release

Troy Brown Joins Form-A-Feed as Forage Product Manager


Troy Brown of Reedsville, WI joined the Form-A-Feed team as the Forage Product Line Manager in September 2017.

Troy has over 30 years of practical forage management experience that he brings to the Form-A-Feed team, and has a deep understanding of all aspects of forage best management practices, fermentation, and forage microbial technology. His role at Form-A-Feed will be to manage the various forage products, services, and programs that Form-A-Feed offers.

“I am very excited to be joining the Form-A-Feed family,” Troy explained. “My goal is to develop a deep understanding of our customer’s needs. Form-A-Feed has an excellent reputation built on a foundation of honesty and integrity. These values made it easy for me to join the Form-A-Feed team.”

Doug Fjelland, Form-A-Feed Executive Vice President states, “the addition of Troy Brown to the Form-A-Feed team will bring even more customized forage services to the progressive farmers we serve throughout the United States. Improving forage quality improves productivity and profitability for both the animal and the farm. We couldn’t be more pleased to have Troy be a part of our team to help farmers maximize their forage program and profitability.”

Have a question for Troy about his services with Form-A-Feed? You can contact him at

Original Source: Form-A-Feed

Good management practices increase silage safety

Silage Facing Safety

On a farm, even a simple task can turn into danger in an instant. There are many “simple” tasks during annual silage production and harvest that are so familiar we can become distracted and lose the focus required to ensure safety.

“In the farming community, every year we hear stories of on-farm accidents while working around silage that affect both workers and bystanders, regardless of their age and experience,” notes Bob Charley, Ph.D., Forage Products Management, Lallemand Animal Nutrition.

However, these tragic accidents can be prevented with strict adherence to good silage management and silage safety resources.

“It is unfortunate that many people are not aware there is a danger but, in reality, there is,” says Dr. Charley. “Given the right resources and awareness of the issues, potential risks and fatalities can be understood and avoided.”

One area of silage safety issues that is often overlooked is face management. Improper face management is one of the biggest contributors to silage avalanches or cave-offs. Proper management of the face on a daily basis is crucial to safety. Plus, these practices benefit the quality and consistency of the feed, so there is no reason not to adopt them. With the right tools and resources, injury and death can be prevented by:

  • Practicing caution around silage. This includes keeping a safe distance from the face and inspecting surroundings cautiously.
  • Executing proper feedout. Never dig the bucket into the bottom of the pile: this can create an overhang that could lead to a potential silage avalanche. Additionally, never drive the unloader parallel to, and in close proximity of, the feedout face in an over-filled bunker or pile.
  • Use caution when removing plastic, tires, tire sidewalls or gravel bags. When working in, around or on a pile, always wear a harness connected to a safety line and bring a buddy to watch out for you.

“At Lallemand Animal Nutrition, safety is a priority, especially when working around silage,” Dr. Charley says. “People are the greatest resource in any operation, and ensuring the safety of farm employees and visitors is the highest priority. For this reason, we have created a silage safety kit to help provide the best materials for silage safety.”

The information and resource kit was developed in conjunction with leading silage safety experts, Keith Bolsen, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Kansas State University and Ruthie Bolsen. The kit includes:

  • Silage Safety Handbook, which offers practical tips for building, maintaining and feeding out silage bunkers and piles safely
  • Quick-reference poster, which demonstrates the main principles for silage safety
  • Safety vests to improve staff visibility when working in, at or near silage storage facilities
  • Warning sign to be placed strategically to raise awareness of visitors and staff
  • Basics of Silage Safety video — a quick video resource that reiterates the importance of safe practices, which is also hosted on the Lallemand Animal Nutrition YouTube channel

Producers can request these free resources by contacting their Lallemand Animal Nutrition representative or by visiting

“We want to ensure all livestock producers practice silage safety. By offering these free resources, people have the opportunity to improve their safety practices — and even their silage quality,” Dr. Charley states. “These resources demonstrate Lallemand’s commitment to continually support producers and partners, safely and productively.”

Original Source:

Fine-tune your calf barn cleaning procedures

Calf Sleeping

What sets farms with great calf health apart from those that struggle to get calves started? Sanitation. It is a bigger investment of time than money and is certainly near the top of the list of important criteria for getting calves off to a good start.

The fewer disease-causing organisms the calf is exposed to, the lower the risk she will get sick.

Manure is the enemy; scours organisms spread by manure of an infected calf getting in the mouth of a healthy calf. The more exposure, the more likely the calf will get sick. Exposure starts in the calving area with manure from adult cows getting in the calf’s mouth, or from it touching the walls, bedding, the cow’s flank – and even from the calf licking itself.

Hands are another common source of infection. Make sure employees caring for newborns have disposable gloves to put on when handling the calf. The hands that helped move the cow into the calving pen probably carry manure from the hair coat of the cow.

Using those same hands to get the nipple in the calf’s mouth is an easy way for bacteria to spread. Make sure gloves are readily available in the maternity area and employees use them when handling the newborn calf.

In addition to exposure in the calving environment, sometimes there is a piece of equipment not getting cleaned thoroughly and transferring bacteria to calves. It may be the colostrum collection bucket, the bottle or nipple colostrum is fed with, the walls of the newborn calf pen, the warming box floor, etc.

The feeding equipment used every day also needs to be cleaned and sanitized between uses. When we see calf after calf coming down with scours at about the same age, we search for something every calf comes in contact with to find the source.

It is often something simple which has been overlooked in the cleaning process. If you’re struggling with sick calves, reduce exposure by fine-tuning your cleaning procedures.

While cleaning calf equipment sounds like an easy task, milk is a difficult substance to clean off of surfaces. You need hot water to remove the fat, but the heat bakes the protein onto the surface. Using warm water to get rid of the protein leaves a film of fat.

When fats and proteins stick to the surface of equipment, they form a biofilm, a nutrient-rich layer in which bacteria grow.

The biofilm protects bacteria from the cleaning process and results in equipment that appears clean but has bacteria on the surface. The cleaning process not only needs to remove fat and protein from surfaces but prevent the formation of a biofilm.

Dr. Don Sockett at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory recommends producers follow a six-step procedure. First, rinse with warm water. Soak in hot water (140ºF) that contains a chlorinated alkaline detergent, then wash in hot water (140ºF) with a chlorinated alkaline detergent. Be sure to scrub with a brush inside and out.

You’ll need more than one brush. Invest in a brush for the inside of bottles, one for nipples, one that fits the tube of the tube feeder and one for buckets or flat surfaces. Next, rinse with cold water containing 50 parts per million (ppm) of chlorine dioxide.

Finally, allow equipment to dry thoroughly. Use a rack or hang equipment so water can drain out and air can flow in.

Before using calf equipment, spray it with a 50 ppm solution of chlorine dioxide. Chlorine dioxide sprayed on feeding equipment is safe for the calf and does not need to be rinsed before using. The process to wash calf pens and maternity areas is the same – rinse, wash and scrub, rinse and sanitize – use a 100 ppm solution of chlorine dioxide to sanitize.

Chlorine dioxide is different than household bleach and is the preferred sanitizer for calf equipment. Many farms now use chlorine dioxide for calf-feeding equipment and to disinfect calf pens or hutches after washing. Your calf specialist or animal health supply company will be able to direct you to a supplier.

Raising healthy calves starts by using good sanitation practices to reduce exposure to pathogens in the environment. Cleaning may not be a favorite job on the farm, but to quote Sockett, “You cannot disinfect filth.” In order for the disinfectant to do its job, the surface must be clean.

The investment in time and effort pays off in healthy calves. Get yourself or your team set up with the equipment needed to make the job efficient and make proper cleaning and disinfecting part of the daily routine.

Written by: Dr. Anne Proctor, Form-A-Feed Dairy Technical Specialist

Article originally written for and published by Progressive Dairyman.

Feed Mill Modifications Fiscal Year 2018

Feed Mill

Effective September 1, 2017

The sale of baby chicks will no longer be offered at the Weyauwega Feed Mill. They are still available to order and pick-up at the New London Farm Store  (1104 Mulligan Dr., New London, WI).

We will be phasing out the tying of poly bags. All bagged feed will be sewn shut in bags effective September 1, 2017. This will allow us to attach a paper label to each bag helping us to adhere to FDA regulations for labeling of feed. Both Poly and Paper bags will still be available. One ton poly totes are also available; however, they are not returnable, and are designed for one time use.

We will also be enacting a 1 ton minimum order on all custom mixed feeds bagged or bulk. If you cannot utilize a whole ton of feed at one time, we encourage you to consider our expanded CHS Larsen branded floor stock line-up. The bulk of our custom mixed feeds are very close in analysis to our floor stock feeds, consolidating these mixes helps us streamline our process. If you need help selecting the appropriate floor stock item for your application, please feel free to contact Ben or Dustin.

If you currently use grain bank in orders less than one ton, we encourage you to market your grain in exchange for the grain in our floor stock items. The costs of our floor stock items follow grain markets, and will be comparable to selling the grain outright.

We will be expanding our floor stock line up to include:

  • Sheep feed
  • Poultry
  • Pig feed
  • Calf feed
  • All Purpose 17% Non-Medicated, Texturized feed
  • Minerals
  • Grain Products

Consolidating our lineup will result in labor efficiencies, regulatory compliance in labeling, and optimized warehouse space, all things that will allow us to lower our price point on our floor stock lineup.

We will be reinforcing a time frame on ordering. Any orders that are needed same day will need to be placed on our answering service by 8 a.m. of that business day, this includes pickups of floor stock items, as well as delivery of bagged or bulk feeds. If we do not have an order for you, we cannot guarantee that we will have items in stock, or the ability of delivery. In emergencies we will provide same day delivery, but are asking for your cooperation to help us adhere to FDA regulations regarding sequencing of feed.

Setting Your Fresh Cows Up for Success with Hydro-Lac®

Fresh Cow Hydro-Lac

Returning fresh cows to positive energy balance as fast as you can after calving is the end goal of any transition program.  We do this by feeding a well-balanced, consistent particle length pre-fresh ration to maximize dry matter intake.  At the same time, we provide a clean, comfortable, well-ventilated facility and try not to overcrowd this group.  They calve and we repeat these same principles in the fresh pen.

Then all the daily variables happen such as feeder deviation, forage quality changes, employees not performing as well as we would like, cold weather, hot weather, humidity, etc.  How do we give ourselves an advantage to overcome these obstacles?

One way many of our customers take the next step in bettering their transition program is adding Hydro-Lac in their pre-fresh and fresh cow programs all year round. In 2014, a field demonstration trial¹ was done on 17 Minnesota herds from January to July.  The trial results ultimately resulted in an increase of 979 lbs. of Fresh ME and a 6.6:1 return on investment.  When I joined Form-A-Feed last March, I wanted to conduct a study that proved Hydro-Lac increased fresh cow performance.

We asked a 450-cow dairy in central Minnesota to use 0.33 lbs. of Hydro-Lac in their fresh pen from the middle of July 2016 to middle of September 2016.  We changed nothing in the nutrition except for the addition of Hydro-Lac.  Fresh cows were in this pen for 14-30 days. The results we saw were incredible.

I compared all cows that calved in July-September 2015 to the cows that calved July-September 2016.  There was a 7 pound increase at week 4 in milk production over cows that calved in 2015.  Why is this significant?  A lactation data set based on 3.5 million cows published by the University of Wisconsin shows that a 1 lb. increase of week 4 milk will result in approximately 405 lbs. of milk over the entire lactation.  So, this means that the cows that calved in the summer of 2016 that were fed Hydro-Lac will have the potential to produce 2,837 lbs. of milk more than the cows that calved in the same time in 2015 without Hydro-Lac.²

All of this from 0.33 lbs. of Hydro-Lac during the fresh period?  When I sit back and think about this, it makes sense why it would work.  Hydro-Lac helps tissues preserve glucose and keeps fluids in the cells.  It has antioxidant immune support properties, and quick sources of energy for the cow to metabolize during this stressful time.  All this makes cows more hydrated, which will lead to an opportunity for higher dry matter intake and thus lead to quicker return to positive energy balance.

This small investment for 14-21 days can be worth over 2,800 lbs. of milk over their lactation.  What can you do outside of Hydro-Lac that you can get that big of a return?  I am a believer in it now and have seen incredible responses on dairies all year round.

For details or a report summary of this and other fresh cow studies involving Hydro-Lac, click on the whitepapers below (¹´²). Better yet, ask your CHS Larsen Cooperative Representative about their experiences with Hydro-Lac in transition programs all year round.

  ¹Kohls, 2014 HL#1501 

²Kinches, 2017 HL#1607 

Original Source: Form-A-Feed Written by: Tim Kinches, Technical Services Specialist

Making the Most of Your Hay

Hay BaleWith early season drought conditions spreading from the eastern half of Montana, across the Dakotas, and into northwest Minnesota, finding high quality pasture and range land has been a challenge. With limited grazing resources, many cattle producers have been forced to turn to hay or other harvested forage much earlier in the season than usual. With hay prices expected to climb due to the increased demand, it is more important than ever to get the most out of hay through minimizing harvest, storage, and feeding losses.

The time from cutting to baling is the number one factor which will influence harvest loss. Rapid drying is the key to minimize losses and maintain nutritive value. Mother nature has a mind of her own when it comes to providing ideal conditions for drying, but every effort should be made to select a cutting date which offers the lowest chance of precipitation or one which offers only a chance for precipitation closer to the cutting time (less dry matter loss if rain falls on wetter hay materials than dry). Mechanical conditioning can also be used to hasten the drying process by exposing more plant surface to moisture losses. If necessary, hay can also be baled at a higher moisture content than normal (18-22%) and treated with a preservative such as Crop Cure®.

You may not have control over the weather and its impacts on your hay crop, but you do have a choice in how your bales are packaged. Based upon cost alone, twine wrapping is the easy winner when compared to net wrapping. However, twine-wrapped bales can cost you dearly in operating speed (more wraps slows down bale production), handling losses (struggle to maintain shape, less uniform and instable), and storage losses (poor water shedding if stored outside) when compared to net-wrapped bales. When it comes to minimizing material and nutritive losses, net wrap is the clear winner. While it may pain many to spend a significant amount more (2-3x cost per bale) on a material which simply gets thrown away after use, return on investment economics win the argument. Assuming an added cost of 80 cents per bale for net wrap, reducing storage loss by as little as 1% will recoup your investment with current hay values.

Avoiding Loss

With the cost of harvesting and packaging already invested, it is essential to properly store hay to maximize its value. According to a study conducted at the University of Tennessee, storage losses can range from as little as 5% when stored in a hay barn to as much as 30% when stored uncovered. Storage losses when bales are stacked on pallets and tarped falls intermediate at 14%. Taking these additional measures to preserve your crop will certainly add cost, but the return is that much greater with higher hay costs. It will also allow for more effective stockpiling to ensure supply when drought conditions arise.

All your good work can be undone if your hay ends up as glorified bedding due to feeding losses. Feeding hay in small amounts (daily rather than weekly), using a hay feeder rather than feeding on the ground, and locating your feeding area in a well-drained area are all methods to reduce feeding loss. It is also best to first feed hay stored outside before hay stored inside. The longer hay is stored outside, the more prone it is to spoilage and cattle are much more likely to waste and refuse poor quality hay.

Using even the best management practices from cutting to feeding, you can still expect dry matter losses in the range of 15-20%, but these losses can easily run over 50% if corners are cut. Preserving and maximizing your feed resources is crucial for the financial wellbeing of your operation. Please contact your CHS Larsen Cooperative representative to discuss a comprehensive forage management program for your operation.

Original Source: Form-A-Feed Written by: Simon Kern, M.S., Form-A-Feed Business Manager

6 Tips for Minimizing Heat Stress on Your Dairy

Cooling Cattle

Minimizing heat stress is a goal of every dairyman. Tunnel or cross ventilated barns have given us a cow comfort standard that we can try to attain in many barns. There have been improvements in air movement and sprinkler systems in most dairies. But what else can we do?

 1. Feeding more digestible forages. Low quality forages stay in the rumen longer and produce more heat than high quality forages.

Target these mineral levels in summer:

Potassium                          >1.5%

Sodium                                 .4-.55%

Chloride                                <.35

DCAD                                   At least 300 meq/Kg

2. Lowering stocking density.  If possible, especially in pre- and post-fresh pens. This will help reduce metabolic disease incidence.

3. Provide shade. Cows under stress are light sensitive and bunch up in areas away from sunlight.  Shade cloth on outside walls or lowering the lower curtain can allow cows to spread out.

4. Feed multiples time a day. Feeding multiple times a day will keep fresh feed in front of cows and ensure adequate feed at night as cows will eat more in cooler temperatures.

5. Water. Waterers need to be cleaned more often in hot weather. Access to water immediately after milking is more important than ever.

6. Hydro-Lac. 

Hydro-Lac Provides Hydration and Energy Support During Periods of Stress.

It’s a palatable source of blended electrolytes, multiple energy sources, minerals, vitamins, and osmolytes. From this patented technology, Hydro-Lac provides the necessary nutrients to recover from the effects of heat stress, such as dehydration, and help restore animal health for better all around productivity.

Using Hydro-Lac can improve cow performance by helping reduce milk loss due to heat stress, promote more rapid production response post-calving, and encourage feed and water intake to overcome health challenges.

Field results have shown that cows fed Hydro-Lac maintain and drink more water and have positive responses in milk production.

“In warm weather, it’s a no brainer! It just makes good sense. Hydro-Lac is a tool that should be in everybody’s cattle feeding toolbox.”Ron Nykamp

Hydro-Lan Proven Cattle Hydration Product

Combat heat stress this summer!

To learn more about Hydro-Lac click here.

Original Source: FormAFeed Blog

New Feed Department Manager

New Feed Department Manager

On May fourth, Dustin Millard accepted the Feed Department Manager position. From November 2016 through April 2017, Dustin worked as the interim feed department manager. During this trial period, he exhibited his growth in leadership as he transitioned from operations to department managerial duties. His strength came from his operations experience while bringing a quality product to customers by improving organization, efficiency, and safety through the feed mill.

After starting his career at Larsen Co-op in 2006, Dustin moved up into leadership roles, such as mill operator and operations manager. As operations manager, he has been diligent in finding ways to better our feed department. One area has been his passion for safety, where Dustin has worked persistently to improve days without a lost time accident which is up to 1,700 days as well as working with a third party to get the mill both HACCP Certified and Safe Feed, Safe Food Certified. With these improvements in operations and safety, he has been able to increase feed quality and decrease shrink loss from $10,000 a month down to $0 a month now, and he helped the labor efficiency improve by 30%.

As the interim manager, Dustin worked very closely with the Form-A-Feed team to build a partnership that brings great value to our local farmers. By having this partnership, we are able to offer our customers the assistance from many experts in the dairy and animal nutrition field. The Form-A-Feed team brings expertise on a much higher level, having Ph.D. level professionals who specialize in calves and pre-fresh transition cows. With such a diverse team of people, specializing in areas such as analytics, training and development, and nutrition, as partners, we have the right combination of resources to help solve the issues farm operations face today and move forward towards tomorrow.

Going Forward

Dustin is excited for this new opportunity to work with the agricultural community and to help farmers with solutions. He lives in New London and has a small hobby farm where he raises dairy beef bottle calves and finishes butcher steers to sell locally. With raising animals at home, he personally knows how important it is to feed livestock a high quality feed that our mill in Weyauwega produces.

Dustin plans to continue to find ways to improve and build a department that will help ensure we can serve our producers now and into the future. He plans to do this by working meticulously with the strong nutrition team at Form-A-Feed as well as with our local private consultants to keep our customers’ needs in the forefront. We will also continue to pursue additional alliances, with Form-A-Feed to bring the best possible service to our farmers.

Please help me in congratulating Dustin Millard in accepting the Feed Department Manager position at CHS Larsen Cooperative.

The Cool Side of Managing Heat, Diet and Transport Stress at Breeding Season

Managing Heat

The primary area of heat stress impacts on the beef industry has been focused largely on feedlot performance.  However, during the course of our field research on Hydro-Lac® for mitigating the effects of heat stress, some astute producers have tied some common sense-logic together with some of the most relevant and latest reproductive science to improve embryo transfer (ET) and artificial insemination (AI) results on their operations.

One area that producers and scientists alike have looked to most recently is improving fertilization rate and improving embryo survival rate.  Recent research in early embryonic death has been linked to heat stress, transport stress, body condition loss and dietary shifts near or shortly after the time of breeding¹.  Several, if not all of these potential stressor conditions, can exist in the scenario of beef cows and heifers being synchronized for timed AI programs.  Multiple processing chute trips, transporting to summer pastures with increased exposure to heat and solar radiation, the change in feed from hay-based rations to lush grass, and the potential to lose body weight briefly following this change all can negatively impact AI or ET success in the first 30 days or so post-breeding.  Therefore, managing and mitigating these stressors can have huge economic benefits to beef cow-calf producers.

Body Condition

The impact of body condition gain or loss may seem simple enough, but plane of nutrition at time of breeding can have a significant impact on embryo quality and survival².  This is possibly due to energy reserves available to the growing embryo at a tissue level in utero.  Cattlemen can apply the common-sense approaches of managing for low stress animal handling in combination with a diet transition plan that ensures a positive energy balance for females going out to pastures post-breeding to improve embryo survival.

Managing the breeding season diet is also where the proven practice of feeding Hydro-Lac® prior to and during stress events, such as heat or transport stress, has potential to be a valuable tool to improve first-service conception rates when fed in concert with beef synchronization programs.   Our repeated research trials show improved tissue energy reserves from feeding Hydro-Lac®³.   Producers have repeatedly shared that Hydro-Lac® provides a practical application of the product for the purposes of strategically improving energy status prior to and during the breeding season, which can positively impact overall pregnancy rates.  It’s simple, effective and holds great potential for improving return on the investment in high value genetics through AI or ET.

If you’d like more information about managing for greater reproductive success by managing diet, transportation and heat stress, contact your Form-A-Feed representative today.


¹Bridges, et. al., Nutritional Challenges for Embryo Survival in Cattle, MN Nutrition Conf 2014

²Kruse, 2013

³Kern, et. al. 2011,2013 & Hoffman, et. al. 2013

Original Source Form-A-Feed Written by: Daniel Kohls, P.A.S. – Form-A-Feed Nutrition and Production Specialist

© 2018 CHS Inc.