Diverse Forages for Dairy Operations

Tuesday, Aug. 24 | 1:30-2:15 p.m.

Hosts: Joshua Hiemstra & Becky Wagner

Josh Hiemstra patriotic pictureJoin Josh Hiemstra as he discusses the many ways he integrates annual and perennial forages into his farming operation for feeding dairy cattle. We’ll take a look at trials where Josh is co-seeding and interseeding forages with silage corn, as well as testing different nitrogen application rates. We’ll also see a diverse cover crop cocktail mix sown after wheat harvest. To top things off, we’ll check out an establishing alfalfa-grass hay field that was seeded with a nurse crop following last year’s forage mix.

Josh will be joined by Becky Wagner, agronomist for Fond du Lac Land and Water Conservation Department. Becky will describe how the county is helping farmers like Josh implement soil health-building practices with cost-share opportunities.


  • Feed value of forages
  • Diversified crop rotations
  • Alfalfa and clover establishment
  • Silage corn

Josh Hiemstra operates Hiemstra Dairy Farm with his wife, children and father near Brandon, Wisconsin. The Hiemstras farm 790 acres, growing corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and other forage mixes. In addition to milking 180 Holsteins, they also finish 120 head of Angus cross-bred beef cattle.

Becky Wagner is an agronomist for Fond du Lac County Land and Water Conservation Department based in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. She previously worked as a fertilizer plant manager and agronomist for farm cooperatives.


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