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, 2022

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

Last Modified: May 25, 2022

This is our fourth and final week of monitoring 1st cutting for quality in 2022.


1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ May 17, 2022

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

Last Modified: May 18, 2022

This is our third week of monitoring 1st cutting for quality in 2022. 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.


1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ May 10, 2022

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

Last Modified: May 11, 2022

This is second week of monitoring 1st cutting quality in 2022.


1st Cutting Forage Quality Update ~ May 3, 2022

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

Last Modified: May 5, 2022

This is our 1st forage quality update for the week of May 3, 2022.


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.






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Upcoming Events

Beef Quality Assurance

August 8 - August 11, 2022

Online Classroom Training and Chute-side Trainings.  Choose which chute-side training to attend.

Beef Quality Assurance is a nationwide certification program to help ensure a safe, wholesome and quality beef product for consumers.

Topics covered include cattle nutrition, handling and vaccine protocols.

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Final Dairy Farm Business Summary and Analysis Program Progress Report 2021

The fourth and final DFBS Progress Report for 2021 summarizes the progress made from 2020 to 2021 for 136 participating farms.

Find the report here.

As farm businesses across New York analyze their financial performance by utilizing the Dairy Farm Business Summary and Analysis Program that is supported by Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and PRO-DAIRY, the changes that occurred from 2020 to 2021 can be reviewed. An important purpose of management is to compare how your farm changed from one year to the next, how this compares to your business goals, and how this compares to the industry. Understanding what changes occurred and determining why they changed can help in preparation for making business improvements in 2022.

The report consists of five sections:
- Average of all farms (136 farms)
- Less than 500 cows (34 farms)
- 500 to 999 cows (32 farms)
- 1,000 to 1,499 cows (37 farms)
- 1,500 cows and greater (33 farms)

Highlights from the progress report
- Labor efficiency improved in 2021, with a 2.3 percent increase in cows per worker and a 4.9 percent increase in pounds of milk sold per worker. Hired labor costs per worker equivalent also increased 5.1 percent.
- Gross milk price per cwt increased 7 percent from $18.56 in 2020 to $19.77 in 2021.
- Hay dry matter tons per acre and corn silage tons per acres increased 19 percent and 5 percent respectively. This contributed to the increase of accrual crop receipts of 203 percent from 2020.