Forage Quality

Forage QualityKnowing when to start first cutting haycrop can be a challenge. Harvest can not be tied to a particular calendar date but instead is dependent on heat and soil moisture. Alfalfa height has proven to be the best indicator of alfalfa and grass quality in the field and can give producers a heads up as to when to harvest.

To give producers some idea of when to start harvesting first cutting, the CNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team staff measures alfalfa height on over 55 fields across the eight counties. Those locations were chosen to reflect the diversity of heat, elevation, and soil moisture found in our area.



FORAGE QUALITY CATEGORIES




1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ May 24, 2021

Erik Smith, Area Field Crop Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

Last Modified: May 26, 2021

This is our fifth and last week of monitoring 1st cutting for quality in 2021.


1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ May 17, 2021

Erik Smith, Area Field Crop Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

Last Modified: May 18, 2021

This is our fourth week of monitoring 1st cutting for quality in 2021.


1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ May 10, 2021

Erik Smith, Area Field Crop Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

Last Modified: May 12, 2021

This is our third week of monitoring 1st cutting for quality in 2021.


1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ May 3, 2021

Erik Smith, Area Field Crop Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

Last Modified: May 5, 2021

This is our second week of monitoring 1st cutting for quality in 2021.


1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ April 26, 2021

Erik Smith, Area Field Crop Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

Last Modified: April 29, 2021

Forage quality update for the week of April 26, 2021


1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ May 26, 2020

Kevin Ganoe, Area Field Crop Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

Last Modified: May 27, 2020

This is the fourth and final week of our first cutting monitoring for 2020.


1st Quality Forage Quality Update ~ May 19, 2020

Kevin Ganoe, Area Field Crop Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

Last Modified: May 20, 2020

This was the third week of our first cutting monitoring for 2020. 


1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ May 12, 2020

Kevin Ganoe, Area Field Crop Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

Last Modified: May 13, 2020

This is our second week of monitoring 1st cutting for quality in 2020.  If you are not familiar with our procedures we use alfalfa height to predict Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF) for alfalfa, alfalfa/grass mixed and grass stands.  Alfalfa height has proven to be a reliable indicator of NDF values in the field.


1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ May 5, 2020

Kevin Ganoe, Area Field Crop Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

Last Modified: May 6, 2020

This is our first week of monitoring 1st cutting for quality in 2020. If you are not familiar with our procedures we use alfalfa height to predict Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF) for alfalfa, alfalfa/grass mixed and grass stands. Alfalfa height has proven to be a reliable indicator of NDF values in the field.


First Cutting Monitoring-April 28, 2020

Kevin Ganoe, Area Field Crop Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

Last Modified: April 29, 2020

On April 28, 2020 we began our monitoring of 1st cutting for quality this year. If you are not familiar with our procedures we use alfalfa height to predict Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF) for alfalfa, alfalfa/grass mixed and grass stands. Alfalfa height has proven to be a reliable indicator of NDF values in the field.


1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ May 28, 2019

Kevin Ganoe, Area Field Crop Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

Last Modified: May 29, 2019

This is our fifth and final week of monitoring 1st cutting for quality in 2019. If you are not familiar with our procedures we use alfalfa height to predict Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF) for alfalfa, alfalfa/grass mixed and grass stands. Alfalfa height has proven to be a reliable indicator of NDF values in the field.


1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ May 21, 2019

Kevin Ganoe, Area Field Crop Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

Last Modified: May 22, 2019

This is our fourth week of monitoring 1st cutting for quality in 2019.  






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Upcoming Events

Integrated Parasite Management for Goats & Sheep Workshop - Herkimer

September 28, 2021
Herkimer, NY

Includes FAMACHA Training/Certification and How to do Fecal Egg ID/Counting

Laying Out a Grazing System: A Program for Veterans

October 1, 2021
Eaton, NY

Free for any Active-Duty Military and Veterans residing in New York State are eligible to attend; non-veterans will be allowed on a space available basis; registration will be capped at 20 attendees.

Annie's Project: Risk Management for Farm Women

November 1, 2021
November 4, 2021
November 8, 2021
November 11, 2021
November 15, 2021
November 18, 2021
November 29, 2021
December 2, 2021
December 6, 2021
December 9, 2021
December 13, 2021
December 16, 2021

Zoom,

Are you a woman engaged in farming in NYS? Would you like to learn and network with other farm women, and learn how to strengthen your farming operation? Join Cornell Cooperative Extensions of Allegany, Broome, Oneida, Steuben, and Seneca counties, along with the Central NY Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops team, for our first virtual Annie's Project this winter! 

Announcements

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Updated Meeting Guidelines

Effective June 1, 2021, the size limit for outdoor field meetings (including open-air, well ventilated barns) may be held up to 500 participants.

Effective June 11, 2021, the size limit for indoor meetings may be held up to 250 participants.  If the indoor event is held at a business, the business may implement other requirements for participants in accordance with NYS and CDC guidelines, which may include requiring proof of vaccination, separate individuals and designate part of the establishment based on vaccination status, and require masks/social distance for all patrons or just those unvaccinated.

For both types of meetings, masks are only required for unvaccinated attendees and they also need to maintain 6' social distance during the event.  Vaccination status is based on self-reporting.  Masks and hand sanitizer will be available for participants.  The NYS, CDC, and Cornell University guidelines will be monitored and we will adjust meeting guidance accordingly.

Dairy Producer Considerations When Dealing with High Grain Prices

by David R. Balbian, CCE Area Dairy Management Specialist

We have been here before. Back in mid-July of 2012, corn got up over $8.00/bu @ the Chicago Board of trade. As I write this corn is approaching $7.00/bu. Soybeans got up to the mid $17/bu. range in late August of 2012. Again, as I write this soybeans are in the mid-$15 range. Your cows do not care what these prices are. Major knee jerk cutbacks on grain feeding that shorts the cows on their nutritional requirements will only make a bad situation worse. Saving $1.00 on grain and losing $1.50 or $2.00 is bad business. The long-term impacts on reproduction will have lingering effects. Low production cannot be turned around until a new lactation begins. So, what to do? Although they will not be possible for everyone to implement, here are some tips and ideas to consider:

  • If you have your own corn grain or HMSC you are feeling good right now.
  • Harvest cover crops for feed in the very early boot stage. Wide swath mowing for quick drying and harvest between 35% to 40% dry matter will give you better results and retain nutrients. Check out Winter Forage: Windrow Compost vs. Photosynthetic Drying from Advanced Ag Systems' regarding wide swath mowing & quick drying. A link to the following article by Ralph Ward of Cumberland Valley Lab provides additional helpful details on the benefits of the proper dry matter: Avoid Fermentation Failure in Spring Silage
  • Timely harvest your first cutting & subsequent cuttings. Be on the lookout for our team's First Cutting Forage Quality data from Dr. Erik Smith every Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. We are monitoring around 60 fields in our region. You will see targeted harvest dates for dairy quality feed.
  • Applying nitrogen to grasses can up crude protein levels (and yield). It may already be a bit late for some first cutting fields, but applications right after first cutting can really boost second cut yields and crude protein levels (reducing the need to purchase grain protein).
  • BMR Corn Silage could be more attractive now. Assess your own situation and consider it this year.
  • It's a long ways off, but if high corn grain prices persist high chopping corn silage this fall is something to consider if you have plenty of inventory.
  • Moving to a high corn silage diet if you have the inventory can reduce corn grain needs and may allow you to utilize some low cost protein such as feed grade urea. Work with your nutritionist to evaluate this option.
  • Look for & reduce feed shrink. This is spilled, wasted or spoiled feed. You can no longer afford excessive shrink.
  • Strategic group cows so you are not overfeeding late lactation cows.
  • Look around at various protein sources. Soybean meal is not the only game in town.
  • Be sure you are getting all you can out of the corn grain you are feeding. Grind it finer. Coarse ground corn is more likely to pass undigested.


Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program

$52.5 MILLION AVAILABLE TO PROTECT NEW YORK FARMLAND
 
State Dedicates Highest Level of Funding Ever to Protect Valuable and At-Risk Farmland 

Each of New York's 10 Regions Will Be Allocated $5 Million for Conservation Easement Projects 


Eligibility Opportunities Expanded to Agroforestry, Equine, and Wine Sectors
Round 18 FPIG continues New York State's commitment to provide financial assistance to locally led farmland protection efforts. The Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program provides financial assistance to counties, municipalities, soil and water conservation districts, and land trusts to enable them to implement farmland protection activities consistent with local agricultural and farmland protection plans. The most frequently funded activity is the purchase of agricultural conservation easements on individual farms. However, the program may also award funding to enable other implementation activities, such as amendments to local laws affecting agriculture, option agreements, and covering the transaction costs of donated agricultural conservation easements.

All farmland protection project applications must be submitted electronically through the New York State Grants Gateway. More information regarding the Grants Gateway can be found here.

Municipalities, counties, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and land trusts are eligible to apply for grants of up to $2 million each to help offset the costs of individual conservation easement projects that protect viable agricultural land from being converted to non-agricultural use.
 
Eligibility criteria for the program have been adjusted to include the agroforestry, equine, and wine sectors, reflecting New York's diverse agricultural industry.  In addition, other closely aligned State goals have been integrated into the eligibility criteria to allow multiple objectives for certain projects, including food security, climate resiliency, and source water protection.  Another first for the program, an incentive payment is now available to participating landowners whose project specifically incorporates climate resiliency or source water protection. Soil health assessments are also now an eligible project cost.
 
There is no application deadline and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until available funds have been awarded to eligible projects. 
 
This funding opportunity continues the state's commitment to provide financial and technical assistance for farmland protection on a predictable two-year cycle and builds on the recent additions of the successful FPIG Dairy Transitions Farmland Protection Initiative and the FPIG Farm Operations in Transition Farmland Protection Initiative.