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MANAGEMENT

Manage employees, analyze yield drivers, explore forage markets, become more confident in preparing farm financial statements, and untangle farm succession issues.

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The U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center (USDFRC) is a research center of the USDA devoted to the optimization of the use of forages in improving dairy cattle production and sustainability. The center employs 20 research scientists and 40 support staff, and hosts another 40 students, post-docs and visiting scientists.

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Near-infrared reflectance spectrometry (NIRS) is no longer limited to a forage testing laboratory, but prior to investing in one, it is important to thoroughly research the features that can make or break this technology as a useful forage quality management tool.

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As we approach the fall cover crop planting season, the industry is starting to see shortages of a few different crops like radishes, hairy vetch and annual clovers due to the record amount of acreage that was planted last year as part of USDA’s prevent plant program.

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“You cannot manage what you do not measure.” It’s a phrase that rings true and one that every soil lab knows well. Another common message proclaims: “Soil testing doesn’t cost, it pays!”

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Cover crop consultant David Kleinschmidt discusses key factors producers need to consider before setting up a trial and what data to collect.

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Often, I consult with livestock producers testing forage for their animals. Inevitably there are two numbers on the report they are most concerned with, protein and relative feed value (RFV). Protein is an important value to understand if the forage meets animal requirements, and RFV is a useful index to quickly compare or rank forages.

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