Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

Forage seminars at World Dairy Expo

Published on 11 September 2015

world dairy expo bannerLori Bocher, agricultural information specialist with the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, announced the dairy forage seminar schedule for World Dairy Expo 2015 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Always a highlight at World Dairy Expo, the seminars will take place at the dairy forage seminar stage in the back of the Arena Building, near the Progressive Forage Grower booth. All seminars are free and open to the public.



Leading experts in the forage industry will be presenting the following topics over four days:

Wednesday, Sept. 29

10:00 a.m. – How much forage can we feed to dairy cows?
Kenneth Kalscheur, Dairy Scientist
U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, Madison, Wisconsin

Forages are the basis of every dairy ration and essential for cow health. But there’s a physical limit as to how much forage cows can consume. Ken Kalscheur, a dairy scientist with the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, will discuss the limitations and opportunities of pushing the upper limit of forage inclusion into the diets of high- producing dairy cows.

1:30 p.m. – Managing fermentation with baled silage
Wayne Coblentz, Agronomist and Dairy Scientist
U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, Marshfield, Wisconsin

Most of the principles for making conventional chopped silage also apply to baled silage. However, there are differences, especially with respect to moisture management and rates of fermentation. Also, some forages are more difficult to ensile based on traits inherent to their species.


Wayne Coblentz, an agronomist and dairy scientist with the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, will explain the differences between forage species and silage types, and present some management tips for making high-quality baled silage.

Thursday, Oct. 1

10:00 a.m. – Cows agree with total tract NDFD
David Combs, Professor of Dairy Science
University of Wisconsin – Madison

When the ration on paper looks perfect, but the cow doesn’t respond appropriately – the cow is always right. Dave Combs, a professor of dairy science at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, has developed a new and improved analysis tool – total tract neutral detergent fiber digestibility – for comparing forages and monitoring dairy rations. Learn how to use this new tool in your herd.

1:30 p.m. – Forage systems for warm-season dairying
Dennis Hancock, Forage Extension Specialist
University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

Warm-season forage systems are crucial to dairy production in the southeastern U.S. Dennis Hancock, extension forage specialist with the University of Georgia, will share research results and on-farm experiences about grazing and harvested forage systems that work in the warmer climates, and about the warm-season grasses and legumes typically used here.

Friday, Oct. 2

10:00 a.m. – Making or breaking rations with forage digestibility and quality
Mary Beth Hall, Dairy Scientist
U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, Madison, Wisconsin


You can’t push a cow to produce more milk. But you can get the obstacles out of her way so she does. Mary Beth Hall, a dairy scientist with the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, discusses how forage quality, intake, particle size, digestibility, rumination, manure evaluation and more determine whether or not you make or break that ration.

1:30 p.m. – The secret life of rumen microbes
Paul Weimer, Research Microbiologist
U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, Madison, Wisconsin

Recent advances in science have greatly increased our knowledge of rumen microbes and the critical roles they play in ruminant nutrition. But it seems like the more we know, the more we realize what we don’t know. In a question-and-answer format, Paul Weimer, a rumen microbiologist with the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, will share what has been discovered recently and what researchers are still trying to determine about the secret life of rumen microbes.

Saturday, Oct. 3

10:00 a.m. – Managing reduced-lignin alfalfa
Dan Undersander, Professor of Agronomy
University of Wisconsin – Madison

Reduced-lignin alfalfa, designed to improve digestibility and, possibly, require fewer cuttings, is now on the market. Capturing its full potential requires some different management strategies. Dan Undersander, professor of agronomy at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, will discuss how to best make use of this new tool for dairy and beef animals, and how to avoid pitfalls that may occur.  PD

Compiled by Progressive Forage Grower staff