“I get a lot out of your Product Guide, I wouldn’t throw it way for anything,” exclaimed one committed King’s customer in Spotsylvania, VA. The guide referenced is chock full of not just products, but information related to their agronomic positioning, nutritional value and placement in a crop rotation system. Founded on the principal of bringing value to the farm by providing premium forage and cover crop seed along with relevant information through local seed dealers, King’s AgriSeeds is set apart. As a true resource to the industry, the King’s team consists of committed agriculturalists who not only deliver the message, but live it out. Consider David Hunsberger. David is a 25 year veteran of the dairy industry who served as a nutrition consultant and most recently as King’s Central Region Coordinator, all while managing his home dairy in Central PA. Then there is Rod Porter, King’s Northern Regional coordinator who is a seasoned seedsman having been involved in every aspect of the industry from seed production, processing and distribution, to planting and growing diverse rotations on his home farm. Tracy Neff, responsible for King’s Genetic Advancement is the York County, PA native with a lengthy background in agronomy and a knack for selecting consistent, quality genetics. These key members are part of a team with great depth and a few hundred years of combined experience!
The culmination of efforts occurs at the local level with the King’s dealer network. In conjunction with King’s, the nearly 200 local dealers help bridge the gap between industry leading seed genetics from around the globe with local performance. King’s K.A.S (Knowledge, Ability, Service) training courses help ensure that the local dealers know the where, how and why of product performance in their zip code. The total years of dealer experience pushes into the thousands! And it’s all a focused resource to help improve farm productivity and profitability.
So, how does this work on the farm? I recently caught up with Doug Herring, Dairy Focus Consultant for Cargill. Based out of Cochranton, PA Doug focuses on assisting dairy producers in improving performance and profitability by monitoring and manipulating feed inputs. In an area prime for increased ag development, Doug has found value in King’s AgriSeeds products and systems.
“The market climate in western PA is the basic ‘chicken vs. egg’ scenario.” Doug said, “The infrastructure is lacking, but do you develop the infrastructure first or develop the farm first? Develop the farm first and the infrastructure will follow. A major factor in developing the farm is forage quality. So far, the King’s AgriSeeds forages I have experience with have exceptional quality.”
There are a few forages specifically that Doug has found to be particularly helpful to the producers he works with.
“The triticale has been a life saver from the standpoint of extending forage production and/or building forage inventories. It’s allowed us to double crop where we typically don’t. From an overall standpoint triticale has a high digestibility, good yields, with minimal input costs. The ROI is extraordinary, because we can replace fed protein with highly digestible forages and allow the cow produce her own protein!”
Doug continued to explain that highly digestible forage compliments highly digestible corn silage in a system. Masters Choice hybrids fit the bill. According to Doug, there are three main components involved in a forage making milk; Rate of passage, uNDF and NDFd. “Consistently, Masters Choice hybrids have always been some of the lowest uNDF and highest NDFd that I test.” Doug says. Using ‘rumen starch digestibility’ as metric of comparison the early starch availability also helps ease the fall transition.
In the case of one producer Doug works with the 65% forage diet consists of highly digestible forages and is balanced to make 100lbs of milk- the cows, however, are milking 110 lbs, without BST. “The only way this happens is high forage quality,” Doug Said. Improved productivity is not the only advantage of high forage systems. This particular producer said the he has never made more milk than he does currently and he has never had such good reproductive performance. A forage based system is a healthy system.
When asked to explain the overall advantages of King’s forages, Doug didn’t hesitate. “Forage digestibility makes dairying profitable even in today’s market. You can turn a lot more money by putting higher end forages in front of any cow-beef or dairy!” Better forages also contributed to Doug’s ability to balance a more economical ration where inputs are controlled. “The high quality forages that King’s AgriSeeds markets allow me to put a package together that is more profitable, all while considering the health of the cow.”