On Jan. 14, Sydenstricker Implement Company in Moscow Mills gave local farmers the chance to hear from two of Canada’s most respected experts in the fields of animal nutrition and forage production.
To start things off, Forage Production Expert Bernard Adam gave a presentation titled Silage: The Hows & Whys in an effort to show local residents how to save time and money while achieving better hay production.
More specifically, Adam talked about the advantages of wrapping hay rather than stacking it.
“I was a beef producer in the 1980s and I developed a way to wrap hay that made things better for the producers,” said Adam.
Adam invented a trailer in 1987 for the express purpose of wrapping hay and that trailer, along with his patented methods, caught like wildfire within the agricultural community.
Today, his method of wrapping hay is in use all over the world.
“Its popularity started mainly in New York State, Pennsylvania, the northern United States and Canada,” said Adam. “Since the year 2000, however, it has really been catching on in the southern parts of the United States.”
Adam said one of the reasons his method of wrapping hay is so popular is because if it’s done right the entire job can be completed in just one day.
Another advantage of wrapping hay is that it allows farmers to better compete with world-wide food production.
“Now that beef producers have to bring in a heavier calf in a shorter period of time, they need to find ways to do things more cheaply,” said Adam. “The cost of everything is going up. My method is a win-win situation for everybody.”
Adam currently owns TubeLine Manufacturing, LTD, the company that mass produces the BaleLiner and the Technobale, two of the machines that Adam invented to make wrapping hay as quick, simple and economical as possible.
During his lecture, Adam told local farmers that even though it would cost them $1,500 to wrap 500 rolls of dry hay using his method, they would eventually save $10,000 dollars in the long run because they will prevent many of the losses that occur with simply stacking dry hay.
Following the lunch break farmers heard from Dr. Alan S. Vaage, a ruminant nutritionist from Alberta, Canada and expert in dairy and beef nutrition.
Vaage is currently a ruminant nutritionist with Jay-Lor, a manufacturer of feed mixers for beef and dairy cattle.
Vaage has been with Jay-Lor since 2010.
Prior to that he was a senior ruminant nutritionist with several North American feed companies and then a contract research scientist with Agriculture Canada.
“My area of specialty is rumin function and forage quality,” said Vaage. “I currently work to build nutrition support programs for Jay-Lor.”
As part of the Jay-Lor team, Vaage’s focus at Sydenstricker was to help answer questions from farmers and ensure they were using their Jay-Lor mixers in ways that will optimize the quality of their feed.
Jay-Lor’s philosophy is that improving feed is what will affect a farmer’s profit margins most because only healthy cows can produce high quality beef and milk.
“My main goal today was to talk to the beef producers here about how to increase efficiency in the use of the feed stuff they produce as well as ways they can increase the productivity and profitability of their beef cow-calf operations with different types of feeding systems,” said Vaage.
Vaage said he was also interested in helping farmers increase efficiency in terms of the use of their forages.
“I also wanted to take a look at what a TMR or Total Mix Ration Mixer might do for increasing their productivity,” said Vaage.
Vaage said although this was his first time to visit Missouri he felt right at home talking to the group that was assembled at Sydenstricker.
“The basic fundamentals of cow-calf nutrition are very similar throughout much of the United States and Canada,” said Vaage. “Weather and other seasonal things can change, but the basics are the same pretty much no matter where you go.”
Although much of the information presented by both speakers was highly technical, it was delivered in a very practical way.
The staff at Sydenstricker said they considered the event to be a success overall and felt confident that everyone walked away having learned something useful.
“Even those not from a farming background could have learned a lot of valuable information from our speakers today,” said Lee Ann Sydenstricker, marketing manager at Sydenstricker. “We appreciate everyone coming out to the event today and we hope they gained some knowledge from these two gentlemen. I know I’ve learned a lot.”