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




Past Relevant Events

Hay Crop School ~ Mohawk

March 1 - March 8, 2016
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Mohawk, NY

Hay Crop School ~ Ballston Spa

March 2 - March 9, 2016
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Ballston Spa, NY

Hay Crop School ~ Cobleskill

March 3 - March 10, 2016
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Cobleskill, NY

Most Recent Forage Quality Content

1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ May 28, 2018

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.






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Upcoming Events

African Swine Fever Meeting ~ Norwich

June 25, 2019
6:30 pm
Norwich, NY

African Swine Fever, the highly contagious and deadly disease affects both domestic and feral hogs and there is NO treatment or vaccine currently available. 
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Dairy Cattle Summer Research Update~Schuylerville

July 9, 2019
7-9 pm
Schuylerville, NY

After the day's work is done?
Come hear about two new research trials conducted by Julio Giordano's Lab.

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Dairy Cattle Summer Research Update~Milford

July 16, 2019
7-9 pm
Milford, NY

After the day's work is done?
Come hear about two new research trials conducted by Julio Giordano's Lab.

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Announcements

First Cutting Forage Quality Project

The CNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team has begun monitoring hay fields for our First Cutting Forage Quality Project. If you aren't familiar there is a very good correlation between alfalfa height and the level of Neutral Detergent Fiber in not only alfalfa but also grasses.

The team monitors fields throughout our region in May to give forage producers some idea of the optimal time to harvest that important 1st cutting. When to start varies as much as 2 weeks in our region depending where you are, elevation and soil type. Check out the Forage Quality section of our website for more information.

Click here to go directly to 1st Cutting Quality Updates.

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