Alfalfa PEAQ Readings – May 2017

Dodge County Forage Council’s PEAQ Readings – May 2017Alfalfa field

Predictive Equations for Alfalfa Quality (PEAQ) is a method to measure standing alfalfa’s forage quality before it’s harvested. Agronomists at the University of Wisconsin – Madison developed this method to help predict alfalfa’s Relative Feed Value (RFV) at the time of cutting.

Several Dodge County Forage Council producers will be reporting PEAQ readings from around the county on Mondays and Thursdays, through May 26, or as long as their hay is standing. When alfalfa RFV’s near 160, it’s usually time to start harvesting first-crop hay.

That’s because first-crop alfalfa can rapidly drop 3-5 points of RFV per day as plants mature. Alfalfa quality should be 150 RFV for milking dairy herds and 120-130 RFV for heifers, stocker cattle and lactating beef cattle.

Crown rot is prevalent in alfalfa fields.  When assessing your field for timing of the first cut, be sure to check the health of plant crowns and roots.  This can be done by digging 5 plants, deep enough to capture about 6 inches of the crown.  To assess crown rot, follow the protocol outlined in the UW-Extension Team Forage publication (A3620) at http://fyi.uwex.edu/forage/alfalfa-stand-assessment-is-this-stand-good-enough-to-keep/. This publication provides guidelines for assessing whole plant health and images useful for rating alfalfa crown and root health on plants slit in half to check for discoloration.

 May 22, 2017      
 Location  RFV Height Growth Stage/Age of Crop
Ixonia  170 27″  Bud Stage/1st yr. stand
Ixonia #2  195 23″  Vegetative/3 yr. stand

 

 May 18, 2017      
 Location  RFV Height Growth Stage/Age of Crop
 Hustisford  195  23″  Vegetative/2 yr. old stand
 Ixonia  180  26″  Vegetative/2 yr. old stand
 Ixonia #2  190  24″  Vegetative/3 yr. old stand

 

 May 15, 2017      
 Location  RFV Height Growth Stage/Age of Crop
 Hustisford  210  20″  Vegetative/2 yr. old stand
 Rubicon Reading #1  220  20″  Vegetative/2 yr. old stand
 Rubicon Reading #2  240  16″  Vegetative/4 yr. old stand
 Mayville  185  25″  Vegetative/1 yr. old stand
 Mayville  200  22″  Vegetative/4 yr. old stand

 

 May 11, 2017      
 Location  RFV Height Growth Stage/Age of Crop
 Waterloo  200  22″  Vegetative/2 yr. old stand
 Waupun  211  20″  Vegetative/1 yr. old stand
 Fox Lake  217  19″  Vegetative/4 yr. old stand

 

 May 8, 2017      
Location  RFV Height Growth Stage/Age of Crop
 Hustisford  240  16″  1st year alfalfa
 Mayville  224  16-17″  new seeding, 1st year alfalfa
 Mayville  237  14″  3rd year stand
 Mayville  224  17″  2nd year stand
 Rubicon  280    ?  Vegetative

Check out more regional and state-wide scissor clip and PEAQ stick data at http://fyi.uwex.edu/scissorsclip/ .

 

 

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