First Crop Alfalfa Harvest Monitoring Project Update

Alfalfa moving toward being harvest ready

The recent warmth and sun have pushed alfalfa growth on most soil types, but excess moisture is still inhibiting growth and maturity in a few regions of the county.

The 9 fields in Marinette County when I walked them Monday afternoon were as follows:

location            max ht.             rfv

County Line     20                     219

Coleman          20                     230

Grover             20                     227

Porterfield       17                      246

Beaver             22                     208

Beaver West    21                     221

Crivitz               20                     221

Middle Inlet      20                     225

Wausaukee      21                     220

Additionally, Seed Concepts Staff walked four fields in Oconto County Tuesday morning and sent me the results:

Chase              21                    205

Oconto Falls    21                    205

Oc Falls 2        22                    200

Lena                20                    211

The cooling trend for the last half of the week into next week will slow growth down again a bit, I suspect.  Current data would indicate that harvesting in most of our area, and nearly all of Marinette County, early next week would achieve high dairy quality forage after harvest losses are properly taken into account – i.e. having an end product of about 170 RFV.  Farms wanting higher or lower quality forages coming out of the bunker will move their harvest forward or back depending on their goals.  A reminder: Grasses and weeds are usually lower forage quality than pure alfalfa stands, so those should be harvested first.

I will walk fields again Thursday, with results posted here and at

If you have questions about forage harvesting or anything contact Scott Reuss at 715-923-0807 or by email


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