Alfalfa growing, but not ready for harvest

 

Alfalfa growing, but not ready for harvest

The full series of Alfalfa Quality Monitoring project fields were walked Wednesday afternoon, May 20th.  Results show that alfalfa has grown now that we’ve started to see some warmth, but that we still have a ways to go to be ready to harvest.  Some dairy farms which want to harvest extremely high quality alfalfa forage may be wanting to harvest late in the last week of May, but most areas will not be ready until the first week of June.  Some fields will still likely produce dairy quality forage quality until nearly the middle of June, dependent on the temperatures and amount of sunshine received.

The results from May 20 are below.  Remember that you can review the entire state-wide alfalfa monitoring project results by going to https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/scissorsclip/  You need to make sure the date slider is set for just this year’s data, but then you can view either all counties’ data, or select particular counties.

Site                        Max ht.                 RFV

County Line         13”                         270

Coleman              13”                         276

Grover                 12”                         275

Porterfield           10”                         287

Beaver                14”                         260

Beaver West       13”                         267

Crivitz                  13”                        258

Middle Inlet         13”                         268

Wausaukee         11”                         274

These results are estimated standing forage quality for the alfalfa portion of fields.  Grasses will have lower forage quality, as will most weeds.  These species are further along in maturity than are the alfalfa plants, thus harvesting of grassy or weedy fields should be first on the list when you do decide to begin harvesting.  The next set of data will be collected on Monday, May 25th and will be available on the state website right away and on local sites by Tuesday.

You can call Scott Reuss at 715-923-0807 to get the most recent data and discuss timing or other forage management issues with him.

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