Alfalfa Update

Extension Field Agronomist Joel DeJong reports “I am not certain we have a good window of opportunity for harvesting alfalfa soon, but I hope so”. He was out in a couple of alfalfa fields near Le Mars yesterday (Wednesday), and the stems measured  25” tall, and were in the bud stage.  That would give it a RFV today of 176. In review, making haylage reduces the final RFV by 15 units, or making dry hay would cost about 25 RFV units.  It is generally recommended to harvest alfalfa at about 150 RFV for milking dairy herds and 125 RFV for heifers, stocker cattle and lactating beef cattle. Find more information about the PEAQ quality assessment model found here. While out there, he noticed low levels of alfalfa weevils feeding on the leaves. Scouting detail, thresholds, pictures and more can be found in this ISU ICM article titled “Alfalfa Weevils Active in Northern Iowa.”

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