The 2012 World Forage Analysis Superbowl grand champion is accustomed to winning awards, but usually for producing quality cows, not forages.
Bob Schauf of Indianhead Holsteins, Barron, WI, won the superbowl with a sample of Mycogen F2F 297 brown midrib (BMR) corn silage harvested in 2011. It tested 37.1% starch, 35.5% NDF and 65.3% NDF digestibility, and produced 3,754 lbs of milk per ton.
The silage is fed to an 85-cow herd that currently averages 28,500 lbs of milk, 1,050 lbs of fat and about 825 lbs of protein. Schauf’s cattle have also performed well in the show ring, winning at major Holstein shows, and he has been named Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor numerous times.
His cattle and embryos are sold to buyers from throughout the U.S. and several foreign countries, and more than 60 of his bulls have gone into AI. His most prestigious honor: Holstein Association USA’s Elite Breeder Award.
Indianhead Holsteins, run by Schauf and his wife Karyn with about a dozen employees, also includes 880 crop acres and a trucking business. About 1,200 semi loads of wood shavings are bought, sold and delivered annually to northern Wisconsin poultry and cattle operations.
Two semi tractors used in that business and two big farm tractors have been converted to run on straight canola oil. When fuel prices rose a few years ago, Schauf considered making biodiesel, but instead chose canola oil because of its simplicity. He buys canola seed grown in western Minnesota and uses a German-made press to squeeze out up to 135 gallons of oil per day.
At current canola prices, he figures the fuel costs about $2.50/gallon, and canola meal has replaced soybean meal in his rations.
This innovative farmer has been an early adapter of several products and practices that later became more mainstream. He uses high-calcium lime and gypsum on his alfalfa fields, for example, and has been planting BMR silage-corn hybrids for 10 to 12 years. Schauf says BMR silage delivers 5 lbs/cow/day more milk than conventional silage, and new BMR hybrids almost match conventional ones for yield.
“This year we ran 27 tons to the acre, which is incredible as dry as it’s been,” he says.
His herd gets 25 lbs/cow/day of corn silage plus alfalfa haylage, roasted soybeans, canola meal, vitamins and minerals.
When Indianhead Holsteins was named overall superbowl winner, Co-Vista Holsteins, Arcade, NY, became winner of the BMR corn silage category. Its entry, Mycogen F2F 387, tested 35.6% starch, 39.4% NDF and 65.8% NDF digestibility, producing 3,556 lbs of milk per ton. Rich-Ro North, St. Johns, MI, placed second; Trierweiler Dairy, Portland, MI, third.
A sample of DeKalb 5878 won the standard dairy corn silage category for Sunrise Lake Farm, Cuba City, WI. It tested 37.4% starch, 33.6% NDF and 57.8% NDF digestibility, and produced 3,567 lbs of milk per ton. Steinhaus Ponderosa Farms, LeRoy, MI, placed second in the category and Ben Fisher, Greens Fork, IN, finished third.
In the dairy hay category, a sample of HybriForce-2400 alfalfa took first place for Rainbow’s End Dairy, Waldo, WI. It tested 25.7% crude protein, 22.5% ADF and 26.4% NDF, with a 250 relative forage quality (RFQ) score. Greg Sebold, Dorchester, WI, and Linnemeier Farms, Ft. Wayne, IN, placed second and third, respectively.
Tim Mater, Deckerville, MI, took first place in the dairy haylage category. His sample of WL 353LH alfalfa tested 25.5% crude protein, 26.1% ADF, 30.7% NDF and scored 237 for RFQ. Tim Busch, Cecil, WI, placed second, and Sellent Dairy Farms, Almena, WI, finished third.
Wyoming growers again dominated the commercial hay category, capturing the top four placings. Last year’s overall superbowl winner – Kellie Hinman of Lazy 2K Farm, Wheatland – topped the category, and Hardrock Farms, owned by her dad, David Hinman, placed second. The first-place sample, Nexgrow 6422Q alfalfa, tested 25.7% crude protein, 20% ADF and 23.9% NDF, with a 270 RFQ score.
Two hay samples entered by Ervin Gara of Torrington – another former overall winner – placed third and fourth.
Heatherstone Enterprises, Baraboo, WI, won the commercial baleage category with SpringGold alfalfa that tested 25.4% crude protein, 22.6% ADF and 28.4% NDF. Its RFQ score was 274. Frequent finalist Kendall Guither, Walnut, IL, and R & R Swiss Farm, Lakeville, OH, placed second and third, respectively.
The grass hay championship was won by Pounder Brothers, Inc., Delavan, WI, with a Roadrunner alfalfa-Niva orchardgrass mixture that tested 25.9% crude protein, 25.2% ADF and 35.3% NDF, with a 223 RFQ score. Olson Farms, Lena, WI, placed second, and last year’s winner, Gerry Danko, Powell, WY, came in third.
Atwater Farms, Barker, NY, was named champion first-time entrant. Dee’s Dairy, Inc., Morgan, UT, and Merrell Farms, Inc., Wolcott, NY, won Quality Counts awards.
More than $22,000 in cash prizes were awarded in this year’s superbowl, which had 345 entries. The contest’s organizing partners are Hay & Forage Grower, AgSource Cooperative Services, DairyBusiness Communications, U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, University of Wisconsin and World Dairy Expo.