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Tip of the month

Corn Silage Harvest Practices Impact Milk Production, Grain Bill, and Overall Profitability

  • Moisture of the corn plant determines the time to harvest.  Harvest at 62-65% moisture (35-38% DM) (Choppers without kernel processors should be harvested a little wetter– 32-35% DM to allow breakage of corn kernels.)
  • Healthy corn plants dry down 0.5-1.0%/day.
  • Corn is generally harvested 40-45 days post-tasseling.
  • Adjust rollers on kernel processors so that no more than 2 or 3 half or whole kernels of corn (cob in 8 pieces) are found in a chopped sample contained in a 32 oz. cup.  Spacing between rollers should be such that a dime will not fit between the rollers.  Kernel processors do increase power requirements and thus diesel usage.  However, for each additional gallon of diesel at $6/gal. used, only 0.05 lbs of milk ($22/cwt) are needed to recoup additional fuel cost with 20 ton corn silage/acre.  Extra diesel costs can very quickly be recouped from additional milk volume and thus income.
  • For bunkers and piles, pack the chopped silage with a tractor weighing 800 times the number of wet tons delivered per hour at a speed of 1.5-2.5 mph.
  • Cover top of uprights, piles, and bunkers with plastic.  For bunkers, line bunker sides with plastic with extra plastic overlapping the walls.  Once filled, use the extra plastic to cover part of the top closest to the walls to prevent water seeping under the top cover of plastic and causing spoilage. 

July is Ice Cream Moo-nth            

  • July is the busy time for ice cream production and consumption!
  • Ice cream contains a minimum of 10% butterfat and each gallon of ice cream uses 3 gallons of milk.   “Reduced fat” ice cream contains 25% less total fat than regular.  “Light” or “lite” ice cream contains 50% less total fat or 33% fewer calories.
  • Types of ice cream include economy, regular or standard, premium, and super premium.  Premium ice cream is manufactured with less overrun (or aeration) and contains a higher fat content (12-15%) than regular ice cream (10-12%).  Premium ice cream thus weighs more than regular ice cream because of less overrun or air added.  Manufacturers identified premium ice cream as the most popular type of ice cream.
  • Top three most popular selling flavors identified by ice cream processors include cookies n’ cream, vanilla, and chocolate.  Rounding out the top 10 flavors are mint chocolate chip, strawberry, butter pecan, coffee, chocolate chip cookie dough, caramel/salted caramel, and cookie dough.
  • Interesting ice cream names include “Garbage can®”, “Motor oil”, “Everything but the kitchen sink”, “Exhausted parent”, “Midnight snack”, “Twinkie”, “Beer breathe”, and “S--- Just Got Serious”.
  • Consumers bought the majority of their ice cream from grocery stores as half gallons (really 3 pints or 1.5 quarts not half gallon or 2 quarts) and ate it at home in the evening as a treat.

Source:  IDFA- Ice Cream and Frozen Novelty Trends Survey- June 2022

Dairy Cow

Are You Making “Profitable Culling” Decisions


Culling decisions definitely impact the profitability of a dairy business.  Many factors determine which and when cows should be culled.  These factors enter into one’s decision if a cow should continue her productive life or if she should entertain a career change and become a beef cow.  Learn More