Make sure your visit to World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis., includes one or more of the Dairy Forage Seminars. The seminars, held in conjunction with the World Forage Analysis Superbowl, begin each day at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 5 through Friday, October 7. The final seminar will be held on Saturday, October 8 at 10:30 a.m. All presentations will be on the Dairy Forage Seminar Stage, located at the east end of the Arena Building.

This year’s lineup of topics and speakers include:

Wednesday, October 5

10:00 a.m. Invisible losses from corn silage piles and bunkers: Real “shrink” losses
Peter Robinson, Extension Dairy Nutrition and Management Specialist
University of California-Davis

Shrink losses from corn silage piles and bunkers represent a loss of nutrients, and aerosol shrink losses have a negative impact on air quality. Peter Robinson, a dairy nutrition and management specialist at the University of California at Davis, shares information about the extent of these losses and the best way to express shrink in commercial corn silage piles/bunkers.

1:30 p.m. “It” doesn’t just happen: What manure evaluation can tell us about cows and rations
Mary Beth Hall, Dairy Scientist
U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, Madison, Wis.

Manure evaluation and other observations can provide valuable information on how the cow is getting along with its ration. Mary Beth Hall, a research dairy scientist at the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, will discuss the biological basis for why manure looks like it does, and how, combined with other information, it can give us insights into improving cow performance.

Thursday, October 6

10:00 a.m. Feeding reduced lignin alfalfa: How do we achieve the most from this new technology?
David Weakley, Director of Dairy Forage Nutrition Research
Forage Genetics International, Gray Summit, Mo.

Reduced lignin alfalfa is now on the market, and the early adopters are just beginning to provide feedback. What harvest and feeding strategies should be considered to achieve the most from this new technology? Are there new findings and opportunities to be investigated? David Weakley, director of dairy forage nutrition research at Forage Genetics International, gives an update and answers your questions.

1:30 p.m. What to look for when feeding this year’s forage
John Goeser, Animal Nutrition Director
Rock River Laboratory, Watertown, Wis.

How did weather and other factors affect this year’s forage quality? John Goeser, animal nutrition director and technical support specialist at Rock River Laboratory, will compile data from across the U.S. to see what kind of crop was produced in 2016. He’ll point out profitable opportunities and offer advice on how to feed this year’s crop.

Friday, October 7

10:00 a.m. Selecting, establishing, and managing cover crops after corn silage
Heidi Johnson, Crops and Soils Agent
University of Wisconsin Extension, Dane County

Many dairy producers concerned about the loss of soil and soil quality associated with corn silage production are choosing to plant cover crops. Heidi Johnson, crops and soils agent with the University of Wisconsin-Extension in Dane County, explains the “how come” and “how to” of cover crops following silage, including cover crop species selection and integrating cover crops with a manure application.

1:30 p.m. Forage quality for high-producing dairy herds: Key performance indicators
Randy Shaver, Extension Dairy Nutritionist
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Numerous dairy herds in Wisconsin and around the U.S. are achieving 100 pounds of milk per cow per day or even more. Randy Shaver, an extension dairy nutritionist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, shares information about key forage quality indicators for high-producing dairy herds.

Saturday, October 8

10:00 a.m. Is it better for forages to be more digestible or to digest more quickly?
David Combs, Professor of Dairy Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Determining how much milk a cow can produce from forage is a bit like figuring out how far you can drive your car. Forages differ in the amount of digestible fiber (fuel in the tank) and how fast fiber will digest (fuel efficiency). David Combs, a professor of dairy science at the University of Wisconsin, will discuss how forage species, growing environment, and new technologies can affect digestibility, rate of digestion, and ultimately milk production.

The World Forage Analysis Superbowl is organized in partnership with DairyBusiness Communications, Dairyland Laboratories Inc., Hay & Forage Grower, U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and World Dairy Expo.