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




Most Recent Forage Quality Content

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.  


1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ May 14, 2019

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

Last Modified: May 15, 2019

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


1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ May 7, 2019

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

Last Modified: May 8, 2019

This is the second week of our monitoring and at most locations all grass fields are either ready to be cut or will be in the next week


1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ April 30, 2019

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

Last Modified: May 1, 2019

Today 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.


Feeding High Forage Diets Successfully

David Balbian, Area Dairy Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

Last Modified: April 15, 2019

You have probably read or heard of people feeding high forage diets to their dairy herds, but how feasible or practical is it? The feasibility comes in when we are able to also have good productivity. Anybody can feed a high forage diet, but if milk output suffers to any great degree, the benefits will almost always be lost to the economic value of the lost production, even with current milk prices.  


Alfalfa Grass Mixes article, Dr. Jerry Cherney

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

Last Modified: March 4, 2019





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Upcoming Events

Livestock Trainings Offered Online

March 25 - December 31, 2020

During this time away from the field we have had quite a few producer's asking about certifications offered online.

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Virtual: To Market, To Market

October 6 - November 10, 2020
9am - 12pm

Have a great idea? This exciting six-week class will help you develop a product or service from start to finish! Local CCE Educators Mariane Kiraly, David Cox, Nicole Tommell, Laura Basillio and Jim Barber have partnered to offer "To Market, To Market," a six-part series to be held virtually and in-person at five regional locations to make your learning experience comfortable, safe, and flexible. Participants will learn how to develop and screen an idea, analyze current trends, develop a budget, consider cash flow, determine pricing, manage marketing and distribution, access funding, test a prototype, consider legalities, manage risk, navigate regulations, and much more. A logical, process-oriented curriculum will lead to dynamic business plans that create new economic opportunities in the region.
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Virtual: Design Your Succession Plan

October 8 - October 29, 2020
6:30pm - 8pm

How will your family farm operate in the future when the owner retires or is gone? Are you currently working with another generation who may be questioning their role in the future of the farm or are you yourself questioning your current role?

To help NYS farm families start their succession planning process, Cornell Cooperative Extension educators will be utilizing a new interactive program designed by North Dakota State University Extension, Design Your Succession Plan. This program will provide tools and resources for producers who want to begin the succession planning process.

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Announcements

Onboarding Dairy Employees~Safe, Engaged and Productive from Day One

Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development is seeking farmers to participate in the second year of an onboarding project funded by the New York Farm Viability Institute.

Employee onboarding is a management process to bring new employees into the farm business, complete necessary paperwork, equip them with safety and performance knowledge and skills, and help them feel connected to and engaged with a worthwhile team.

Find all the details at their website: http://agworkforce.cals.cornell.edu/onboarding/

Building Resilience During COVID-19 Requires Deligence

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked with farmers to help build resilience for their businesses. In building resilience, we must also remain diligent in maintaining health and safety requirements. 

The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and the NYSDOH - New York State Health Department are reminding agritourism businesses that they must adhere to the COVID-19 New York Forward guidance. This comes in response to a recent outbreak associated with a NY agritourism farm. 

Learn more about the guidance agritourism farms are subject to, as well as our recommended management and communication strategies for agritourism activities on your farms as you navigate the COVID-19 outbreak at the Small Farms website.


Resources for Farm Business Safety Plan Required

As the New York Forward plan is implemented across the state, businesses of all kinds are required to have a COVID-19 written safety plan in place. Both essential agricultural businesses that have remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and those non-food related agricultural businesses who will re-open must have a safety plan. A task force of Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) specialists developed a new set of resources to help farms comply with this requirement and efficiently prepare plans during this busy time of the year. NY Forward Business Safety Plan Support for Farms contains:
  • Plan Templates
  • Considerations and Examples for Your Plan
  • Key References and Support Documents
See the complete guidance


Dialing Into Your Best Dairy-Podcast series

Find the podcast series "Dialing Into Your Best Dairy" on the PRO-DAIRY website.

PRO-DAIRY offering Webinars and Podcasts

PRO-DAIRY has sent out a list of Webinars and Podcasts.  Find this list and more at our Resource page.

Team Programming and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

To all of our valued program participants and partners:

The Central NY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team will not be conducting any meetings or in person assistance until further notice. All scheduled meetings have been cancelled as we look to support efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19. If possible we may move them to an online format.

We will continue to monitor the situation and keep in touch with you.

Please continue to reach out to us by cell phone, email, and text as we will gladly respond. We will also continue to contact you by those same methods as we put out newsletters or share other pertinent pieces of information.

Again we are still here expecting to assist you as always, just for the near future not in the in-person way we have in the past.

Stay healthy.

Erik Smith, Field Crop Specialist
David Balbian, Area Dairy Specialist
Ashley McFarland, Area Livestock Specialist
Nicole Tommell, Area Ag Business Management Specialist

COVID-19 response:
Need information? View the following Cornell CALS and CCE Resource Pages Updated Regularly
General Questions & Links: NY Extension Disaster Education Network 
Food Production, Processing & Safety Questions 
Employment & Agricultural Workforce Questions
Cornell Small Farms Resiliency Resources  


Prevention & Control of the Novel Coronavirus for Farms

Find the an article on how to prevent and control the Novel Coronavirus on farms at: Novel Coronavirus Prevention & Control for Farms

Interim Guidance for Animal Care Operations

Interim Guidance for Animal Care Operations release from New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets on March 22, 2020.  Find article here

Links to Services

As we navigate through some very uncharted territory over the next few days/weeks/ months, the CNYDFLC team would like to offer you a list of services that may be of help to your farm business. Remember, our entire team is only a phone call, email or video conference away. Please do not hesitate to contact us if a need arises, we will do our best to assist you in the ways previously mentioned.  Find our contact information for each team member on the Contact Us page.

The list of websites and/or phone numbers can be found at our Resource page


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