Introduction It’s early May, you’re looking at a rather marginal alfalfa stand, the haylage silo is nearly empty, and you generally use some corn silage in the dairy ration. Here are the options: Kill (plow or spray) the alfalfa stand now and plant a full-season corn hybrid, control perennial grasses and broadleaves with a post-emergence […]
We introduced Relative Forage Quality as an improvement to RFV in 2002. We released the term to better estimate energy and intake and to do it in accordance with NRC Nutrition Requirements for Dairy Animals released in 2001.
“Cut alfalfa at late bud for optimum quality.” We’ve heard this statement, or a similar one, many times over the past 10 to 15 years. Although forage quality is strongly correlated to morphological stage (for example, late-bud or first flower), many years of monitoring the forage quality of a standing crop has taught us that environment plays an important role in what the actual forage quality might be at a specific stage of maturity.
Alfalfa may start growing in the spring while some freezing nights are still occurring. This has caused many management questions among farmers.
Undersander et al. (1993) developed a method for estimating milk per ton of forage dry matter (DM) as an index of forage quality of alfalfa and grasses. The milk per ton index of Undersander et al. (1993) is based on energy content of the forage predicted from acid detergent fiber (ADF) content and DM intake potential of the forage predicted from neutral detergent fiber (NDF) content.
Attaining a high silage density is important for two primary reasons. Most importantly, density and dry matter content determine the porosity of the silage.
As interest grows in adding grasses to dairy rations (to add digestible fiber and improve cow performance and health), many dairy producers find themselves learning about a feedstuff they haven’t grown or used in many years. This Fact Sheet will explore some reasons for feeding grasses, discuss some of the agronomic considerations producers need to think about when growing grasses for […]
The benefits of using legumes in crop rotations is well established. This study explored a cover crop system utilizing annual clovers in Wisconsin that takes advantage of shorter season crops (i.e. winter wheat, vegetable crops), to enhance rotational impacts, to provide nitrogen credits to the next year’s crop, and to grow additional biomass that potentially […]
Relative Feed Value has been widely used for ranking forage for sale, inventorying and allocating forage lots to animal groups according to their quality needs, as well as determining when to harvest.
For determination of keeping stand of new seedlings: Determine whether the seedlings have developed crowns (pull a plant and feel if ridge between root and top growth which usually develops when plant is 3 to 4 inches tall). All seedlings without crowns and with damaged terminal buds will die. Count remaining plants and keep stand […]
Cover crop species recommendations change depending on whether you are in Northern or Southern Wisconsin. Northern Wisconsin Cover Crop Options Small grains / grasses Cereal rye is the only option for seeding cover crops after corn for grain in Northern WI but it should be planted by late October. Much later than this and rye […]