Predictive Equations of Alfalfa Quality (PEAQ) provides an estimate of the quality, measured as Relative Feed Value (RFV), of a crop of first cutting alfalfa standing in the field. Typically, the RFV of first crop alfalfa will decline 3 – 5 points per day as the crop matures. Under the best conditions, 10 to 20% of the forage dry matter will be lost at harvest. This amounts to approximately 15 RFV points for haylage and 25 RFV points for hay. Therefore, to end up with 150 RFV alfalfa, which is the minimum quality recommended for high producing lactating dairy cows, you should harvest the crop when PEAQ measurements predict a RFV of 165 to 175 for the standing forage.
The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team monthly webinar series continues on Wednesday, April 21 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. This month’s webinar will focus on making the most of the 2021 alfalfa crop.
Long-time ISU Extension and Outreach Field Agronomist in Northwest Iowa Joel DeJong will present an outlook for the 2021 alfalfa crop. He will review stand evaluation, fertilizer, and pest threats, as well as discuss how to use Predictive Equations of Alfalfa Quality (PEAQ) to determine when to harvest the highest-quality forage.
“Dairy producers, and all livestock producers really, rely on quality forage to help their herds maximize profits,” said Fred Hall, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “That is why we encourage producers, dairy consultants and related industry reps to attend this webinar.”
As always, there is no fee or registration needed to participate in the monthly dairy webinars. Interested individuals may join the program live at https://iastate.zoom.us/my/dairyteamfredprogram.
For more information, contact Fred Hall at 712-737-4230 or email@example.com.