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, et.al. 2014 HL#1501 

²Kinches, et.al. 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

Plan Ahead to Purchase Cenex® Grease this Summer for Gift Cards

Grease Summer Special

 

Starting June 15 through August 15, 2017, end-users can earn VISA® gift cards on qualifying Cenex® grease products. End-users will receive a $15 gift card for every qualifying 4-10 pack or 35-pound pail purchased during the qualifying time frame.

Customers may also receive a $50 VISA gift card for every qualifying 120-pound keg purchased during the promotional window. Qualifying grease products include: HD Moly Xtreme, Poly-Xtreme, Maxtron® EP, Blue Gard 500+, Molyplex 500+, ML 365®, Red Protect XT™ and Maxtron® FS.

How it works:
  1. Provide a copy of the redemption form to the end-user to submit their claim. These forms can be found in your 2017 Lubricants Marketing Program book or click here to print them directly.
  2. End-user completes the Summer Grease for Gift Cards redemption form, attaches required receipts, and mails it to CHS post-marked no later than September 15, 2017.

Questions? Contact your CHS Larsen Co-op representative.

 

Skin in the Game contest will send farmers to the Big Game

big game

To help its owners grow, CHS has launched a Skin in the Game essay/video contest. The contest will capture the next generation’s point of view regarding their local co-ops and the cooperative spirit. This will also identify a group of interested farmers and ranchers to participate in a roundtable discussion with CHS leaders about meeting agriculture’s changing needs.

The contest provides a choice of four topics and two different ways to enter (a written essay or a video). Eight winners will receive a multi-day VIP experience for two, including luxury-suite seats for the Big Game in February 2018 along with airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to festival events, and more. Certain terms and conditions apply. To enter and for a copy of the official rules including judging criteria, visit chsBigGame.com.

Qualifications

Co-op customers who are actively involved in production agriculture are welcome to enter and share their co-op insights, stories and dreams. Deadline for entries is September 15, 2017. You must be at least 18 years old to win. Winners will be announced in October.

CHS is one of the official founding partners on the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, which provides a high-profile platform to tell agriculture’s story.

 

Latest Market News, Including Corn Condition

Corn Condition

Planting, planting, and replanting … Where are you at in this process? Things have been coming to a close for most of the producers in the area with some of those hard to reach spots being filled in with whatever is available. The crops are in the ground and now we have to sit back and watch to see what will happen next. Will we go without rain for the most significant time of the growing process, or will we get timely rains? This is not in our hands but is always on our minds. One thing we can remember is to market our grain as well as we care for it. Keep an eye on June for any possible weather related rally, if they come it will be fast. Corn has only moved in a sideways direction, not making any moves up or down for some time now. Beans on the other hand have been trailing downward with no sign of any upward movement.

Monday June 5th gave us a look at what the crops are looking like at this present time.

Corn Condition – Selected States: Week Ending June 4, 2017

[These 18 States planted 92% of the 2016 corn acreage]

—————————————————————————-

State  : Very poor :   Poor    :   Fair    :   Good    : Excellent

—————————————————————————-

:                          percent

:

Colorado ………..:      –          –          17          71          12

Illinois ……………:     2           9          30          50         9

Indiana ………….:      5          12          37          41          5

Iowa ……………..:      1           2          20          61          16

Kansas …………..:     2           7          30          56           5

Kentucky ………..:    1           3          14          70          12

Michigan ……….:     –           4          26          61           9

Minnesota ……..:     –           2          21          66          11

Missouri ………..:     1           6          34          51           8

Nebraska ………:      –           2          19          70          9

North Carolina .:     1           4          18          61          16

North Dakota …:     1           6          26          63          4

Ohio ……………..:    2           8          41          41           8

Pennsylvania …:     –           –          18          74           8

South Dakota …:    –           6          32          58           4

Tennessee ……..:    1           2          14          56          27

Texas ……………:    1           4          16          68          11

Wisconsin …….:    1           6          25          56          12

:

18 States ………:    1           5          26          58          10

:

Previous week .:    1           6          28          57           8

Previous year .:     1           3          21          61          14

–     Represents zero.

 

Idea: Anyone sitting on old crop inventory should give us a call to discuss options for receiving a premium on those old bushels. We have some thoughts on how to increase the price. It is worth your time since the crops are in the ground for the harvest year.

 

Look For Dates:    June 9, 2017 Supply and Demand Report

June 30, 2017 Grain Stocks Report

 

June is Dairy Month, So Please Thank a Dairy Farmer!

THANK YOU to Everyone for Your Hard Work and Dedication.

by Helen Nemitz, Grain Originator

Awards 14 $1,000 Scholarships

$1,000 Scholarships Winners

CHS Larsen Cooperative is proud to announce that they have awarded 14 $1,000 scholarships. This is the seventeenth year they have offered a scholarship program for their customers; already helping over 250 students. CHS Larsen Cooperative’s trade territory has expanded and they have felt the need to return support to the communities that help support their cooperative.

$1,000 Scholarship Winners

CHS Larsen Cooperative offered this scholarship to graduating high school seniors and currently enrolled post high school education. The 14 students that received the 2017 scholarship are as follows: Tiffany Bricco of Clintonville, parents are Joe and Debbie Bricco; Taylor Eilers of Waupaca, parents are Rodger Eilers and Jenifer Erb; McKenzie Glodowski of Rosholt, parents are Keith and Tracy Glodowski; Ethan Hass of Manawa, parents are Rodney and Lori Hass; Lane Hischke of Suring, parents are Dan and Erin Hischke; Jason Jaworski of Wausaukee, parents are Tim and Tracy Jaworski; Brianna Karweick of Seymour, parents are Vernon and Jill Karweick; Ashley Kurey of Freedom, parents are Ron and Debbie Kurey; Tyler Le Mahieu of Peshtigo, parents are Keith and Jean La Mahieu; Emily Madson of Lena, parents are Paul and Gail Madson; Payton Magdanz of Weyauwega, parents are Dan and Medora Magdanz; Emily Salm of Neenah, parents are Peter and Judy Salm; Dustin Thern of New London, parents are Will and Patti Thern, and Alex Zahn of Wausau, parents are Steve and Pam Zahn.

Apply for 2018 Scholarships Today

The criteria and 2018 application are on our scholarship page www.chslarsencooperative.com/community/scholarships. The deadline for the CHS Larsen Cooperative scholarship is March 15, 2018. Visit their website to download the application or call 1-800-924-6677.

CHS Larsen Cooperative is proud to support our local youth. It pays to invest in our local future industry leaders.

Filling Food Shelves with Community Support in Harvest for Hunger

New London Harvest for Hunger Donation

CHS Larsen Cooperative had another successful year in the CHS Harvest for Hunger campaign, an annual program that gathers funds, food, and grain to help fight hunger in local communities.

CHS Larsen Cooperative locally raised a total of $4,208 and 5,028 pounds of food, which their parent company, CHS, added bonus dollars to bring the 2017 total to $10,092. This will be distributed to seven partnering local food pantries in our surrounding area.

“Our ability to help local food shelves feed the hungry in our communities wouldn’t have been possible without a tremendous level of support from our employees and local businesses that donated to the CHS Harvest for Hunger drive,” said Todd Reif, general manager, CHS Larsen Cooperative.

In place of having a one-day event, we challenged all employees to come up with creative ways to raise money and food. There were some great ideas from auctions, bake sales, office lunches, donations from producer meetings, getting family members involved by letting kids pick out what food to donate, as well as asking community businesses and customers for support.

There was also tremendous support from local businesses donated to the cause. A big thank you goes out to all the sponsors, which are as follows: Willies Bar, Earth Sense Energy, Ebben’s Towing, Festival Foods of New London, New London Bowling Lanes and Hilby’s, Northland Electric Services, Steinke Auto, Lawton Dental, Dockside Design, Lallemand Specialties, Inc., Strum Foods, Tadych’s Econo Foods of Clintonville, Shopko Hometown of Clintonville, Great Lakes Kraut of Bear Creek, BidSpotter, Bahrke Auction, Winchester KwikTrip, Arls Foods Hollandtown, New London Park and Rec, and Culligan Water, along with other anonymous donations.

Weymont Harvest for Hunger donation
Seymour Harvest for Hunger Donation

 Clintonville Harvest for Hunger donation
 Freedom Harvest for Hunger Donation

 
Hortonville Harvest for Hunger Donation

 

 

Leadership changes at CHS

CHS Leadership - Darin Hunhoff, CHS EnergyCHS Leadership - Jay Debertin, president and CEOThe CHS Board of Directors has elected Jay D. Debertin as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of CHS. Debertin succeeds Carl Casale, who led CHS during record performance levels and expansion.

During Casale’s seven years with the company, CHS returned $3 billion to its owners, invested $9 billion in new capital expenditures and nearly doubled the size of its balance sheet from $8.7 billion in 2010 to $17.3 billion at the end of fiscal 2016. Casale focused on prudent fiscal management and enhancing management systems at the company.

“As we take our cooperative into its next chapter, we are confident that Jay is the right leader,” says Dan Schurr, chairman of the CHS Board of Directors. “Jay’s experience in achieving operational excellence and driving results fits squarely with our unwavering goal to deliver returns to our member-owners now and for the long term.”

Debertin previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for the company’s diverse energy operations and processing food ingredients business. He joined CHS in 1984 and has held a variety of leadership positions within the organization in energy, trading and risk management, transportation, and agricultural processing. Jay also serves as chairman of Ventura Foods.

“CHS is strong today because we drive the business with a central purpose in mind and that is to help our cooperatives and farmers grow,” says Debertin. “I look forward to working with our talented group of employees as we concentrate on world-class execution across our system. I see growth and strength ahead for our business.”

Additionally, Darin Hunhoff, who has been with CHS for 25 years in a variety of leadership positions, most recently as head of CHS strategy, will step into the role of leading CHS Energy and the processing and food ingredients business.

12 Propane Grilling Safety Tips

Propane Grilling

The trees are starting to bud and people are leaving their jackets at home. This can only mean one thing: It’s grilling season!

Antsy to fire up your FAVORITE CHARBROILED RECIPE? While grilling season is all about having fun with loved ones outdoors, it’s important to take proper safety measures before your first cookout. Outdoor grills have become very popular, and propane grills, in particular, come with their own set of precautions. To start your season off right, brush up on some important propane grilling guidelines below.

Purchasing your cylinders
  • Check all propane cylinders for dents or scratches before purchasing. Indentations can indicate potential leaks.
  • While transporting cylinders in your car, be sure to keep them upright and secured in place. Cylinders rolling around in your trunk or backseat can result in propane leaking into your vehicle.
  • Note that most states have restrictions on how many cylinders can be transported by motor vehicle at once. It’s always a good idea to review local laws and restrictions with your local fire department.
  • You can also purchase your propane cylinder at our local CHS Larsen Co-op New London Farm Store
Filling your cylinders
  • CHS Larsen Co-op also has a cylinder exchange program! For your convenience you can bring in your cylinder to our Oconto Falls location to exchange them.
  • In New London, you can either buy a new gas grill cylinder or fill your propane cylinders (any size).
Using your propane grill
  • Before you begin, take a few minutes to re-familiarize yourself with your grill’s manual. Double check the proper procedure for connecting a cylinder and for igniting your particular model.
  • Use your grill in an open area with good clearance above it. Remove any combustible materials that may be nearby.
  • Propane has an odor added to it that is similar to that of natural gas, so use your “sniffer” to detect signs of leaking.
  • Keep the lid of the grill open while lighting to avoid flash burns.
  • While operating the grill, maintain site lines and watch for any flare ups.
  • As a bonus safety precaution, have a water bottle nearby just in case any food or grease should catch fire.
Clean up and storage for next season
  • While packing up your grill, clean off any food residue or remaining grease to avoid any future flare ups or fires.
  • For long-term storage, keep cylinders upright, secure and out of reach for children.
  • Most states have fire codes for how many cylinders can be stored in one place. Your local fire department will have specific guidelines for your area

For any other questions or concerns about propane safety, you can check out the PROPANE EDUCATION AND RESOURCE CENTER’S website or contact your LOCAL Energy Specialist 

Image courtesy of FLICKR USER. Orginal Source Cenex.com

© 2018 CHS Inc.