1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ May 16, 2023

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

May 17, 2023

Due to the maturity of most fields in our area, this will be our last week of measuring alfalfa heights this year. Most of our remaining fields will be at peak quality by the middle of next week, and only pure alfalfa stands at high elevations are more than 10-12 days from peak maturity. In order to bring you timely forage quality updates, this edition will focus solely on alfalfa height monitoring. Check your fields because peak quality may be now!

Alfalfa height is a reliable indicator of NDF values in the field, so we use alfalfa height to predict Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF) for alfalfa, mixed alfalfa/grass, and pure grass stands. When using alfalfa and grass height as an indicator of NDF content, in general:

Begin cutting 100% grass stands when nearby alfalfa is 14" tall to achieve the desired 50% NDF.
Begin cutting 50/50 alfalfa/grass stands when nearby alfalfa is 22" tall for the desired 44% NDF.
Begin cutting 100% alfalfa stands when alfalfa is 28" tall for the desired 40% NDF.

To achieve the desired NDF it is necessary to begin cutting at NDF values slightly lower than the desired value assuming some harvest and storage losses (which the above alfalfa height values reflect). For example 28 inch tall alfalfa is closer to 38% NDF but you will need to start then to end up at 40% NDF. Predicted  days to cut are based on daily NDF increases for grasses (1%), 50/50 mixed stands of (0.8%), and alfalfa (0.5%). Typically, NDF increases about 0.8 to 1.2/day for grasses and 0.4 to 0.7/day in alfalfa, expecting the lower end of that range in cooler weather and the higher end in warm. See the attached fact sheet for more details: Predicting Spring Fiber Content of Forages. 

Always check your fields to verify your heights and conditions!

Alfalfa height
Alfalfa height

*We were unable to measure these two fields this week, so this value is an estimate (+/- 1.5") based on last week's measurement and the relative growth of other fields nearby.





Predicting Spring Fiber Content of Forages (pdf; 95KB)


Dairy

Dairy

Livestock

Livestock

Forages

Forages

Grains

Grains

Upcoming Events

Fresh Cow Health Disorders - Spanish

July 19, 2024
July 26, 2024
August 2, 2024
August 9, 2024
August 16, 2024
August 23, 2024
August 30, 2024

Free webinar series in Spanish.

View Fresh Cow Health Disorders - Spanish Details

Calving Workshop

August 6, 2024 : Calving Workshop
Herkimer, NY

English / Spanish program.  Limited to 8 English speaking & 8 Spanish speaking participants.  Lunch included.

View Calving Workshop Details

Announcements

Document and Share Storm Damage

Mother nature has really been difficult over the last few days. Significant damage has been seen throughout NYS. Please let us know what types of damage your farm may have sustained during this time. This could be in the form of property damage, lost power, milk dump due to lost power, loss of livestock, loss of stored feed or growing crops.

Farms are encouraged to DOCUMENT AND SHARE any impacts the weather may have had on their home or business. This could include structure damage, crop loss, inventory loss due to power outages, damage to equipment or fencing, and more.

If your farm experienced any sort of damage, please reach out to any of the folks listed below (or all of them). The more impact information that is collected, the greater the likelihood of a disaster declaration which can bring vital emergency support and awareness. The CNYDLFC Team will continue to collect detail and submit to NYSDAM and the EDEN network.

Reporting Weather Related Impacts (For your home or farm business)

  • First, ensure that all the people and animals on your farm are safe, and that there aren't any unsafe working conditions created because of the weather (check your structures!). If there's an emergency, call 911 - don't try to manage it all on your own.
  • Second, document all negative weather impacts for your farm and their estimated financial cost. Take photos, make estimates, and put it all in a safe place.
  • Reach out to your insurance providers - farm, vehicle, crop, etc. to initiate the claim process as needed.
  • Then, share your farm's damage with any (or all) of the ag support agencies listed below. We all work together to collect storm damage information and funnel it up to Ag and Markets which can initiate a natural disaster declaration.
Your local Cornell Cooperative Extension Association Office.
  • Chenango: 607-334-5841
  • Fulton/Montgomery: 518-853-2135
  • Herkimer: 315-866-7920
  • Madison: 315-684-3001
  • Otsego: 607-547-2536
  • Schoharie: 518-234-4303
  • Saratoga: 518-885-8995
Any of our CNYDLFC Team members (calls/emails/texts/site visit requests all ok)
  • Nicole Tommell: 315-861-6001
  • Erik Smith: 315-219-7786
  • Daniela Gonzalez: 315-749-3486
  • Ashley McFarland- 315-604-2156

Your county USDA/FSA service center.
  • Chenango: 607-334-3231
  • Fulton/Montgomery: 518-853-4015
  • Herkimer: 315-866-2520
  • Madison:315-824-9076
  • Otsego: 607-547-8131
  • Schoharie: 518-295-8600
  • Saratoga: 518-692-9940

Your county farm bureau manager

  • Region 3: Bailey Coon: 518-937-0566
  • Region 5: John Wagner: 315-761-9770
  • Region 6: Natally Batiston: 518-937-0269
  • Region 7: Todd Heyn: 518-431-9338

Please let us know how we can help you.


Cash Rent and Custom Harvest Survey

To date, there is limited information available about rental rates and fees for crop harvesting.  Farms can use this valuable information for their farm business planning to help improve decision making and profitability. 

The data that is collected, and the subsequent reports/findings/resources will be helpful for all of us to answer that call of "What's the average rental rate in my area?" and "How much do people charge to combine oats?"

Take the survey here.


Farmers Can Join MeatSuite For Free!

MeatSuite.com is a free resource provided by Cornell University where NY meat farmers can create a farm profile and list their bulk (wholes, halves, quarters) and bundled (i.e. Grilling Bundle) meat products.

Why should farmers join?

1. It's free and easy!
2. Connect with more local customers. In the past year the MeatSuite.com farm directory had 8,300 visits from New York consumers. Farm profiles get as many as 25 views per month from potential local customers. We also spotlight MeatSuite farms on social media and bring attention and purchases to farms through highlights and giveaways.

How do I join?

Farmers can visit https://www.meatsuite.com/farmers/ to create a free farm profile. You must list at least one product for your farm's profile to go live. You'll also have access to Cornell's free Meat Price Calculator, a helpful tool for pricing your meat to make a profit.

While you're on MeatSuite, check out the "Creating Consumer-Friendly Bulk Meats" publication on the log-in page. It has tips on how to create bulk meat products that are easier for first-time buyers to say "yes" to.

If you have any questions as you create your farm profile or products, we're here to help! Please email Matt LeRoux at mnl28@cornell.edu.


Sign Up for Our Weekly E-Newsletter

We send out a bi-weekly e-newsletter that has announcements, upcoming programs, and opportunities for you!  Registration is quick, easy, and free.  Click here to sign up today!

Spotted Lanternfly

Lycorma delicatula, or Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), is an invasive plant hopper from Asia and is an agricultural pest. In the United States, it was first found in Pennsylvania in 2014. Spotted Lanternfly has been found in New York State on Staten Island, all New York City boroughs, Long Island, Port Jervis, Sloatsburg, Orangeburg, Ithaca, Binghamton, Middletown, Newburgh, Highland, and the Buffalo area. SLF threatens the agriculture and forestry industries, and is also a nuisance pest. The nymphs and adults feed on over 70 different plants, but is especially detrimental to grapes, a black walnut, hops, maple trees and apples. New York State Ag and Markets supported CCE efforts to help bring awareness to communities and we developed this Public Service Announcement and would appreciate you sharing it with your member lists. 



CCE Livestock Program Work Team

See the Livestock Program Work Team website for news, upcoming programs, and NYS Slaughterhouse Map.

NEWSLETTER   |   CURRENT PROJECTS   |   IMPACT IN NY   |   SPONSORSHIP  |  RESOURCES   |   SITE MAP