Fond du Lac County Alfalfa Forage Quality Using PEAQ Readings and 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 in Fond du Lac County, Extension Fond du Lac County in collaboration with Fond du Lac County Forage Council are hosting the Alfalfa Quality Project Watch.

On Monday mornings close to harvest time, samples are collected from 3 areas within the county (easter, southern, and western Fond du Lac County), in both low-lignin and coventional alfalfa fields and submitted to Dairyland Laboratories for NIR analysis.  

For in-field quality estimates, the PEAQ Stick Method.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.

May 22nd Values:

Thank you to our generous supporters for their financial support for the Alfalfa Quality Watch Project: Country Visions, Bayer (Dekalb), Syngenta (NK), FS Insight, Corteva (Brevant), Eden Equipment, Winfield United (Croplan), Hundertmark Seed, HOdorff Seed & Agronomy, Oakfield Elevator, Farmers Elevator, Rock River Seed & Chemical, Prairie Rock Seed, CP Feeds, United Coop, Dairyland Seed/ Lonnie Boelk (Spangler), Community Ag Service, Miritz Custom Chopping

May 25th Values:

The next sampling will be on Tuesday, May 30th with results on May 31st.

May 30th Values: