Fond du Lac County Alfalfa Forage Quality Using PEAQ Readings & Scissor Cuts

Determining when to cut first-crop alfalfa is often difficult because alfalfa quality, relative to flowering stage, varies greatly. To help with this dilemma, agronomists at the University of Wisconsin – Madison developed the Predictive Equations for Alfalfa Quality (PEAQ) method which predicts alfalfa’s Relative Feed Value (RFV) at the time of cutting.

The Fond du Lac County Forage Council will be evaluating forage conditions by collecting biweekly PEAQ readings (days to be determined) starting Monday, May 14th. These PEAQ readings will be reported and available on the Fond du Lac County UW-Extension website.

The PEAQ Stick Method measures standing alfalfa’s forage quality before it is harvested by measuring alfalfa height using a wooden PEAQ measuring stick and an equation to determine alfalfa’s RFV. The RFV values are calculated based on the alfalfa plant’s maturity stage.

NOTE: This procedure estimates alfalfa RFV content of the standing crop. It does not account for changes in quality due to wilting, harvesting, and storage. These factors may further lower RFV content by 10 to 25 units, assuming good wilting and harvesting conditions. This procedure is most accurate for good stands of pure alfalfa with healthy growth.


June 3, 2019

Location Scissors Cut Analysis Field PEAQ Estimate
CP ADF NDF RFV Maturity Height RFV
Malone-Low Lignin 21.42 29.43 34.26 178.32 Bud 30″ 156
Malone-Conventional 20.39 29.39 35.27 173.57 Bud 31″ 152
Ripon-Conventional 24.15 30.03 37.92 161 Bud 27″ 168
Brandon-Low Lignin 23.41 32.06 40.06 148 Bud 28″ 164
Byron-Conventional 22.12 28.72 34.33 179.54 Bud 29″ 160
Brownsville-Low Lignin 19.03 29.67 35.29 172.63 Bud 32″ 149
Brownsville-Conventional 17.26 32.67 39,04 150.24 Bud 32″ 149
Van Dyne
Mt. Calvary

May 31, 2019

Location Field PEAQ Estimate
Maturity Height RFV
Malone-Low Lignin Bud 26″ 172
Malone-Conventional Bud 29″ 160
Ripon-Conventional
Brandon-Low Lignin
Byron-Conventional Bud 26″ 172
Brownsville-Low Lignin Bud 29″ 160
Brownsville-Conventional Bud 30″ 156
Van Dyne
Mt. Calvary

The next scissor clips and PEAQ readings will be done Monday, June 3, 2019. The alfalfa quality watch values will be available on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 late afternoon..

May 28, 2019

Location Scissors Cut Analysis Field PEAQ Estimate
CP ADF NDF RFV Maturity Height RFV
Malone-Low Lignin 25.6 25.4 29.9 210 Veg 24″ 190
Malone-Conventional 22.2 29.1 33.8 181 Veg 23″ 195
Ripon-Conventional 25.1 28.8 36.8 168 22″ 194
Brandon-Low Lignin 26.1 28.0 36.1 173 25″ 185
Byron-Conventional 21.3 28.8 34.0 181 Veg/bud 24.5 190
Brownsville-Low Lignin 23.5 26.4 29.7 213 Veg/bud 26″ 180
Brownsville-Conventional 20.4 30.2 35.0 172 Veg/bud 26″ 180
Van Dyne
Mt. Calvary Bud 180

May 23, 2019

Location Scissors Cut Analysis Field PEAQ Estimate
CP ADF NDF RFV Maturity Height RFV
Malone-Low Lignin 24.9 22.34 27.2 242.56 Veg 19″ 217
Malone-Conventional 24.71 24.19 29.53 219.80 Veg 19.5″ 215
Ripon-Conventional Veg 17″ 230
Brandon-Low Lignin Veg 21″ 205
Byron-Conventional 25.69 23.43 28.73 228.08 Veg 19″ 217
Brownsville-Low Lignin 23.59 22.6 27.65 239.08 Veg 20″ 211
Brownsville-Conventional 23 24.68 30.81 209.68 Pre-bud 22″ 194
Van Dyne Veg 245

May 20, 2019

Location Scissors Cut Analysis Field PEAQ Estimate
CP ADF NDF RFV Maturity Height RFV
Malone-Low Lignin 27.69 23.84 27.3 238.76 Veg 17″ 230
Malone-Conventional 24.16 26.69 31.71 199.03 Veg 17″ 230
Ripon-Conventional 27.22 25.39 32.51 198 12″ N/A
Brandon-Low Lignin 26.76 24.32 30.48 214 19″ 217
Byron-Conventional 24.51 25.2 30.28 213.28 Veg 16″ 237
Brownsville-Low Lignin
Brownsville-Conventional 22.79 24.23 29 253.85 Veg 18″ 224

 

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