Take a Critical Look at Your Open Silage Today

By now, you’ve opened up your new crop silage. This is a good time to assess both the silage — and the management decisions that got it there. Deciding what went right, and what went wrong, is helpful to ensuring an even better 2021 silage season.

Most silage challenges fall into one of two categories: dry matter (DM) loss or aerobic instability.

DM loss, or “shrink,” results in less available, and less high-quality, feedstuffs. This can occur due to many management factors but can be addressed by:

  • Harvesting at the right moisture and stage of maturity
  • Cutting at the correct length and with adequate processing (if necessary)
  • Using a proven inoculant to fit your needs
  • Packing tightly
  • Sealing the storage structure

Aerobic instability — often seen as heating — contributes to silage losses by leaving producers with spoiled feed that must be thrown out. In addition, heating normally reduces the forage’s nutritive value. Aerobic spoilage is caused by yeast growth in the majority of the cases. Yeasts need oxygen to grow, making the above management missteps likely suspects when there is heating, especially inadequate packing and sealing. Silages with high population of yeasts have lower nutrient digestibility (fiber, DM), and this leads to reduced animal intakes and performance.

At feedout, when silage is again exposed to air, spoilage yeasts “wake-up” and can grow rapidly, causing heating and spoilage. At this stage, common management practices can help reduce losses, including:

  • Keeping the silage surface tight and clean
  • Not removing silage too far ahead of feeding and leaving it sitting in loose piles, and/or
  • Feeding out at the correct rate

Inoculant choices can help address both DM loss and aerobic spoilage. For example, elite lactic acid bacteria and enzymes, like those found in MAGNIVA® Titanium forage inoculant, can maximize dry matter, nutrient retention and improve aerobic stability to deliver stable, high quality and palatable feed.

Forage inoculants including Lactobacillus buchneri NCIMB 40788 will be more resistant to heating and spoilage as this organism dramatically reduces yeast levels. L. buchneri 40788 applied at a minimum of 400,000 CFU per gram of silage, or 600,000 CFU per gram of high-moisture corn (HMC), has been uniquely reviewed by the FDA and allowed to claim improved aerobic stability.

By taking a critical look at this year’s silage, producers will be on their way to even better silage results next year.

Written by Renato J. Schmidt, Ph.D., Forage Products Specialist, Lallemand Animal Nutrition North America

Address Mycotoxin Risks from 2020 Corn Silage

By Anthony Hall, MSc MSB, PAS, Technical Services – Ruminant, Lallemand Animal Nutrition

This year, producers endured multiple challenges during the corn growing and harvesting season. Today, producers find themselves feeding out newly fermented corn silage and worrying about exposing their herd to higher-than-average levels of molds or mycotoxins.

Assess conditions during harvest

Mycotoxins are produced by specific molds, which cannot be completely be avoided in the process of growing and storing crops for feed. Harvest conditions are an important factor to assess your operation’s risk of mycotoxin contamination. If corn was grown under stressors like drought, weed or insect infestation, or drought, the resulting silage is more susceptible to fungal infestation and could possibly lead to production of mycotoxins.

There will likely be lower the natural population of lactic acid bacteria on the plants. Yet, this risk can be offset if a research-proven forage inoculant was used at ensiling.

Understand risks to productivity

Mycotoxins can be the source of several important herd health and production problems ranging from reduced feed intake to suppressed immune response. Although, ruminants are more resistant to the effects of mycotoxins than monogastric animals like pigs and poultry. However, the toxins can disrupt rumen function in important ways. In addition, it can be risky for producers to estimate how much mycotoxin exposure a herd can withstand.

Often, mycotoxin testing is performed after animals’ exhibit reduced performance or health problems — meaning producers are already dealing with the financial effects. Researchers have found that, when ingested, mycotoxins can cause lactic acid to build up. This can result in Sub Acute Ruminal Acidosis (SARA). When SARA occurs, the animal’s ability to use the ration efficiently is impaired and can lead to other, more serious, health problems.1

Maintain optimal rumen function

To avoid these consequences, do not feed visibly moldy silage. This solves part of the problem as mycotoxin content is not necessarily related to the amount of mold seen. If contaminated feed manages to reach the feed bunk, it’s important for animals to have optimal rumen function. Producers can include a research-proven active dry yeast (ADY) probiotic in the ration to help achieve this goal.

ADY probiotics like LEVUCELL® SC that include the strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 have a high capacity to increase pH and fiber digestibility in the rumen. Probiotic feed additives can help improve rumen function and increase fiber digestion. This can help avoid reduced production due to several herd health challenges, including mycotoxins.

Lallemand Animal Nutrition is committed to optimizing animal performance and well-being with specific natural microbial product and service solutions. Using sound science, proven results and knowledge, Lallemand Animal Nutrition develops, produces and markets high value yeast and bacteria products ─ including probiotics, silage inoculants and yeast derivatives. Lallemand offers a higher level of expertise, leadership and industry commitment with long-term and profitable solutions to move our partners Forward. Lallemand Animal Nutrition is Specific for your success. For more information, please visit www.lallemandanimalnutrition.com.

Don’t Skip the Weight on Silage Covers

Recent regulations may change how some U.S. producers weigh down their silage covers. Yet, the benefits to properly covering silage bunkers or piles continue to provide returns.

“The additional time and expense to comply with new waste tire regulations may cause producers to question the need for covering piles at all,” notes Renato Schmidt, Ph.D., Technical Services – Silage, Lallemand Animal Nutrition. “There is absolutely no question that effectively covering piles saves money by preserving important nutrients in the silage, reducing dry matter (DM) losses and maintaining the hygienic quality of the feed. The effort to cover and seal silage piles is a vital part of the silage management program.”

Covering piles helps create the anaerobic environment required for the ensiling fermentation on the most critical portion in terms of porosity — the surface. As a result, the quality of the fermentation process is improved compared to uncovered piles. During storage, well-maintained plastic covers help prevent oxygen ingress, which can cause spoilage.

For example, sealing and covering a 40-foot by 100-foot bunker returns approximately $2,000 in improved silage DM recovery when filled with corn silage. Plus, feeding spoiled silage from an uncovered silo can reduce feed intake and digestibility and potentially lead to metabolic and reproductive issues in the herd.

A combination of high-quality plastic and adequate weighting helps prevent losses. Use plastic that is at least five millimeters thick and dual layer — black inner and white outer — to resist deterioration. Also consider using plastic film with an increased oxygen barrier, Dr. Schmidt advises.

Weighting the plastic down prevents air from seeping underneath the covering. Full-casing waste tires have been the standard for anchoring bunk silo covers for years, but they are heavy to move and bulky to store. Standing water in a full-casing tire can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. With the increasing concern around West Nile virus (WNV) — and the new state regulations prohibiting full tires — producers may be searching for new options, such as:

  • Modifying tires by leaving tires on the rims, removing tire sidewalls, drilling holes in the tire sidewalls or cutting tires in half
  • Covering tires with plastic to reduce standing water
  • Treating tires with a mosquito larvicide, which requires a certified pesticide applicator
  • Replacing tires with sidewall disks
  • Using heavy equipment tire beads
  • Finding alternatives to tires, such as gravel or sand bags

Dr. Schmidt advises producers to choose an option that maintain the integrity of the plastic. Tears or holes reduce the effectiveness of the covering and allow oxygen into the pile.

“Covering and sealing silage bunkers makes economic sense,” Dr. Schmidt says. “There are options for producers looking for alternative ways to weigh down covers. Don’t drop a best practice that pencils out in the long run.”

Originally posted by: Lallemand Animal Nutrition

Introducing Jenn Stowe

On January 3, CHS Larsen Cooperative welcomed, Jenn Stowe, to their Dairy Nutrition team. Stowe graduated from UW-Platteville with a Dairy Science Degree with an emphasis in Animal Nutrition. She has relocated to the Waupaca area from Harvard, IL. She’ll be working as a Feed Sales Rep in conjunction with, Jay Hoffman, Feed Department Manager.

Jenn Stowe grew up in northern Illinois on a hobby farm and has been involved in the agricultural industry her whole life. She was very active in her 4-H club working with and showing horses and cattle, which helped her decide she wanted to work in the Ag Industry. She achieved her Associates of Science at McHenry County College before attending UW-Platteville. While attending county college she worked on a dairy farm. This is where she first became exposed to nutrition by working with the head herdsman on their ration formulation as well as doing the actual mixing and feeding.

Stowe was one of the first to graduate with the Dairy Science Degree, as this is a new degree for UW-Platteville. She was very involved in extra-curricular activities. In the Pioneer Dairy Club, she attended the ADSA and PDPW conferences as well as helped chair the Pioneer Consignment Sale. The consignment sale is a completely student run cattle auction where the students work with local farmers to get commitments of selling their cattle at the show. They create the show magazine showcasing the consignments. Stowe worked with the cattle the week of the auction to monitor for their health and make sure they looked good for the show.

While at UW-Platteville, Jenn Stowe was selected to compete in the Midwest Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge. Students from around the U.S. and Canada apply theory and learning to a real-world dairy while working as part of a team. Each team is assigned a real farm to evaluate their nutrition, animal health, reproduction and financials. They then have an opportunity to walk the farm to see their conditions and have only a few hours to complete and memorize a presentation on how they feel the farm can be improved. They present their findings to a panel of judges, the producer and an audience. Jenn worked on the nutrition side of the competition which was another experience that lead her to wanting to work in Dairy Nutrition.

During College, Jenn Stowe worked at two vet clinics: Galena Square Vet Clinic and Family Pet Hospital. She enjoyed working closely with the clients and their pets. She acquired information from the clients to learn about animal history and issues, which she would then share with the vet. She assisted with surgeries, animal analysis and bloodwork. She gained a lot of customer services skills and genuinely enjoyed working with people.           

Jenn is looking forward building relationships with the producers, expanding her knowledge of the dairy industry and helping farmers achieve their farm goals. She is excited to meet CHS Larsen Co-op’s producers and customers. Outside of work Jenn really enjoys riding and training horses, trap shooting, hunting and enjoying the outdoors. Please help us in welcoming Jenn Stowe in her position at CHS Larsen Cooperative.

Make a Smooth Transition to New Corn Silage


Opening up new silage is commonly associated with a dip in milk production, but the transition can be smoother — and less costly for producers — with a few easy fixes.


“In the fall, producers often tell us they see a drop in milk production,” says Renato Schmidt, Ph.D., Technical Services – Forage, Lallemand Animal Nutrition. “This is usually due to an abrupt change from old corn silage to recently fermented corn silage. It takes a little planning to ease this transition, but it’s worth it to maintain peak milk production.”


Producers can make adjustments at harvest, during ensiling and after the new silage is opened.


During harvest, Dr. Schmidt recommends adding a proven silage inoculant containing enzymes, like Biotal® Buchneri 500. Inoculants with high activity enzymes can help break down plant fiber, which improves fiber digestibility. The product label should clearly indicate guaranteed levels validated by independent research studies.


Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) — like Lactobacillus buchneri NCIMB 40788 and Pediococcus pentosaceus 12455 — in silage inoculants also help initiate a fast, efficient fermentation immediately after ensiling, which works to help prevent milk production drops by maintaining feed quality.


After ensiling, Dr. Schmidt recommends waiting until the starch is more digestible to open. Ideally, producers should wait at least four months before feeding. This is particularly important for forage harvested above 35 percent dry matter (DM) and/or flint corn varieties.


When producers are ready to open the new silage, make the transition gradual and adjust the ration to balance changes in dry matter (DM) and nutrient content. Switch silages over a 10- to 14-day period. New silage can be introduced as 25 percent of the silage portion of the ration in the first three days, then 50 percent of the ration the next three days, and so on until the transition is complete.


“It’s important to have the new silage analyzed during the transition,” Dr. Schmidt recommends. “The analysis undertaken covers fermentation profile, NDF digestibility and starch digestibility, plus the associated rate values. Forage can range in composition among silage structures and between years. What you harvested last year can have a different nutrient value than the new forage. Part of the fall slump is cattle reacting to those changes in the feedstuff composition. Testing and adjusting the ration can help minimize fluctuations.”


During the transition from old to new silage, herds are particularly vulnerable to Sub Acute Ruminal Acidosis (SARA) due to high levels of fermentable sugars in the silage. SARA is a sustained period of time with lowered pH levels in the rumen. When rumen pH dips below 6, cellulolytic bacterial activity is decreased and fiber digestion are impaired.1 As a result, milk production and feed efficiency can suffer.2,3


Supplementing feed with an active dry yeast (ADY) probiotic helps increase pH and improve fiber digestibility in the rumen. Results from multiple trials show cows fed a specific strain of ADY, Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077, had an increase of 2.1 pounds of 3.5 percent fat-corrected milk (FCM) and were more efficient than controls.4


“When SARA occurs, it’s difficult for cows to make the best use of any ration — no matter how expertly analyzed or carefully introduced,” Dr. Schmidt says. “There’s no substitute for making a smooth transition from old to new silage, but a proven probiotic can help optimize the rumen environment and maintain peak performance even during changes to the ration.”

Original Blog Post by Lallemand Animal Nutrition

Top 5 Tips for Managing Heat Stress in Cattle

During the summer, dry matter intake can drop — and so can milk production. This decline in performance can be minimized or even avoided. There are simple changes producers can make to ensure the quality and quantity of feed remains steady throughout the season, advises Tony Hall, MSc MSB, PAS, Technical Services – Ruminant, Lallemand Animal Nutrition.

“Cows under heat stress can express a number of feeding behaviors that change their digestive balance,” Hall says. “The whole farm team must work together to keep intakes up and make sure cows are receiving quality feed. The good news is these changes are inexpensive and can be quickly enacted.”

Hall recommends five changes to help fight the effects of heat stress and minimize disruptions in digestion.

  1. Don’t feed unstable silage. When aerobically unstable silage is added, it can cause the entire ration to heat. Cattle simply don’t want to eat hot feed in the summer. Plus, hot silage is a sign valuable nutrients have been lost. To minimize spoilage, feedout at a rate fast enough to avoid heating and discard all moldy silage. For future harvests, producers can use an inoculant containing the high dose-rate Lactobacillus buchneri NCIMB 40788 to help improve the aerobic stability of silage if heating is a consistent challenge.
  2. Change the feeding schedule. Producers can feed twice daily to help maximize intakes. Ideally more of the total mixed ration (TMR) should be offered at the coolest part of the day — around 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
  3. Guard against sorting. Ensure the forage component cannot be sorted out and perform regular TMR push-ups to encourage access and feed intake.
  4. Increase availability of water. Make sure water is readily available and clean. Check water trough refresh rates; ensure lactating cows have access to a minimum of three inches of linear trough space per head; and clean the water troughs at least once per week.
  5. Adjust the ration. For lactating cows, always select the most digestible forages and strive to maximize inclusion of forage neutral detergent fiber (NDF) within the appetite limit of each pen. Check the particle size distribution profile using a Penn State Forage Particle Separator to ensure the distribution is within guidelines. Adding an active dry yeast (ADY) probiotic — like LEVUCELL® SC, or Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 — can improve rumen function and increase fiber digestion in lactating dairy cows.


In fact, research conducted at the University of Florida on lactating dairy cows has shown S. cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 improved rumen pH compared to control cows during heat stress conditions. In addition, S. cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 supplemented cows had higher milk protein yield and 7.2 percent improved feed efficiency compared to cows that were not supplemented.1

Probiotics are especially helpful for producers experiencing health challenges as a result of heat or other stressors. Another probiotic strain, Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii CNCM I-1079, has been proven to positively activate the immune system of cattle during times of stress.

“When heat stress occurs, normal rumen and immune function is disrupted. This worsens the already significant effects of heat stress in dairy cattle,” Hall says. “With simple changes, we can help cattle continue to perform well even under heat stress conditions where feed intake is decreased.”

Reprinted from Lallemand Animal Nutrition View the full story.

Welcoming Jay Hoffman

Starting June 18, Jay Hoffman will be the new Feed Department Manager. Jay has been working closely with our sales staff and dairy customers and prospects for the past two years from the Form-A-Feed team. He comes to CHS Larsen Co-op with over 30 years of sales experience with five years of management.

Dustin Millard, previous Feed Department Manager, has accepted a position within the cooperative as Operations Manager. He will still be working closely with Jay on the operations side of feed as well as with the other four departments, agronomy, grain, energy and retail. He will continue to keep his relationships with current and prospective customers on the cooperatives behalf. Dustin’s time as Feed Manager was spent connecting with farmers along with getting the feed department aligned in the industry for future growth, and he looks forward to helping that growth continue. He chose to take the Operations Manager position because he feels that we as a cooperative can become more efficient for our producers by working across departments and utilizing their talent and assets where they are needed most.

Jay was born and raised on a dairy farm in Michigan and moved to Wisconsin in 1975. He farmed with his family until 1984, when he bought his own farm. His journey in sales started in the late 1980s, where he worked off the farm but still in the dairy industry in breeding cows as an AI technician and other related sales positions. He started working in dairy nutrition in the late-1990s. His management experience came from working with the Agri-Nutrition Consultants (ANC) group as the assistant general manager. As the GM he helped with daily business decisions, business plans, and employee performance management, while still working as a dairy nutritionist and consultant. ANC had a long term relationship with Form-A-Feed (FAF) and in 2017 they merged, which is when Jay became the Divisional Sales Leader for FAF.

While working with Dustin and CHS in the past two years, Jay has enjoyed working with the farmers, and will continue to focus on quality and doing what’s right for ours farmers. Jay is looking forward to getting back into more of a business decision role at CHS. He will be working with Dustin to strengthen relationships. He likes being able to help improve the overall return on investment for both our producers and the co-op. He will continue to find ways to improve and build a department that will help ensure we can serve our producers now and into the future.

Jay has every intention on continuing our joint venture with FAF utilizing their professional staff and on farm quality products. Already having strong relationships with the team at Form-A-Feed he feels confident this will be a good fit for both sides of the joint venture.

Jay looks forward to meeting the rest of CHS Larsen Co-op’s producers and customers. Outside of work Jay really enjoys spending time with his family camping and fishing as well as watching college sports. Please help us in congratulating Jay Hoffman on accepting the Feed Department Manager position at CHS Larsen Cooperative.

Preserving High Quality Feed


Producing and preserving high quality feed is very important which is why CHS Larsen Cooperative is now offering silage covers. The feed department now has a new offering Raven silage covers as well as continues to offer a great selection of forage inoculants.

Silage Covers

Raven silage covers are leading the way by incorporating the latest technology to help our customers preserve the highest nutritional value from their silage. A silage cover needs to protect your pile from air and water intrusion and by selecting the highest value cover upfront; you end up with reduced dry matter losses and maximum feed freshness.

Their silage covers are designed with the end user in mind to provide the most value for your dollar. Raven FeedFresh® and SealFresh™ oxygen barrier silage covers are manufactured with premium grade resins to provide the strongest, most tear resistant silage covers available.  Raven manufacturers three silage cover solutions to optimally meet customers’ performance needs: premium FeedFresh® reinforced oxygen barrier (1-step install); SealFresh non-reinforced oxygen barrier (2-step system); and FeedPro-G™ non-reinforced economy (1-step install) cover.

Industry leading barrier technology makes FeedFresh® and SealFresh™ oxygen-barriers the covers-of-choice for maximum forage freshness. Raven FeedPro-G™ non-reinforced black/white silage cover is our third option providing extra-large sizes at an economical price point by integrating recycled resin in the core.

  • FeedFresh® (1-Step Cover) – String-Reinforced 7 mil Oxygen Barrier Silage Cover. ▪ Superior Tear and Puncture Resistance ▪ Lowest OTR on the market at 0.98 CC/M²/DAY  ▪ 18-Month Outdoor Longevity
  • SealFresh™ (2-Step Cover System) – Step #1 – Non-reinforced 2 mil Clear Oxygen Multi-Layer Barrier. Step #2 – Dura♦Skrim® 6 mil black/white string-reinforced outer cover. ▪ High Strength & Puncture Resistance ▪ Lowest 2-Step OTR at 1.6 CC/M²/DAY ▪ Accordion-Folded for Quick Deployment
  • FeedPro-G™ Silage Cover – Tri-layer 5 mil film with premium grade outer layers and recycled resins in the core. ▪ Extra Large Tarp Sizes Available ▪ High Tear and Puncture Strength ▪ Blocks Light Transmission
Forage Inoculants

When feeding forage you want to provide a superior feed to your cattle. As most farmers already know using a good forage inoculant will help you keep that feed well preserved. Inoculants are used for two primary reasons. First, is to stimulate or ensure a rapid, more efficient fermentation (by producing fermentation aids, which for a rapid pH drop means predominantly lactic acid), which helps avoid bad (e.g. clostridial, enterobacterial) fermentations. The second reason is to inhibit aerobic spoilage (spoilage inhibitors).

Fermentation aids generally contain efficient (homofermentative) lactic acid- producing bacteria (LAB) and are mainly used on low dry matter (DM) forage crops that can have low concentrations of fermentable carbohydrates and high inherent buffering capacities (e.g. grass, alfalfa, clover).

CHS Larsen Cooperative is happy to offer the tools needed to ensure you are feeding a quality forage.

Sources: Raven and Robert Charley, Lallemand Animal Nutrition

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 troybrown@formafeed.com.

Original Source: Form-A-Feed

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