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May 14 2012 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data - Central MN

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

The link listed here provides Central MN PEAQ and Scissors-Cut sample information from Monday May 14... and a list from past sampling days for each cooperating farm.

We will have more lab reports for Monday sampling on Tuesday and I will update the link listed HERE with new data as we get it. Remember, for scissors-cut sampling, we like to have 3-4 samples taken 3-4 days apart to consider a trend line to provide more confidence in the numbers. The can bounce up and down some based on the chance of what is clipped each day.

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data 2012 05 14.pdf

Read more for some other observations and resources

Alfalfa cutting over the weekend is reported at the Krause farm near Buffalo and at Rickeman's near Hutchinson.

The Winkelman numbers in this report are an average of two samples, taken next to each other at the same locations in the field. The actual RFV's at the lab were 236 and 217 with an average of 227.  RFQ's were 249 and 228 averaging 239.

The first Scapanski sample listed is also an average of 2 samples. The actual RFV's at the lab were 192 and 218 averaging 205.  RFQ's were 208 and 229 averaging 219.

This shows the prospects for sampling differences on a given day. It also serves us to remind us that this in is NOT an exact science. That's why we suggest for scissor's-cut sampling, we take 30 4 samples that are 3-4 days apart ahead of when we might actually harvest and then consider whether most number fit a trend line that makes sense. If there was a way to know the actual RFV of a sample, the RFV measure can vary by plus or minus 10. Every testing process has a margin of error. Make use of common sense, observation skills and past experience. That's why we balance rations and then watch the cows.

If the RFQ runs consistently above the RFV, we might have some confidence that fiber is more digestible than normal and the crop might feed better than what the RFV alone indicates.

There are a couple notes at the end of the posted report telling that it looks like frost did do some damage on some fields, and some parts of fields in some areas, slowing growth.

I found 3 clover leaf weevil larva while picking old crop residue out of a sample. They look like and alfalfa weevil except having a tan/brown head instead of a black head. They were 3/16 of an inch long. I have not seen alfalfa weevil larva yet. We should watch for alfalfa weevil problems in second crop regrowth and through all the growth of the second cutting.

For more information about using and interpreting the PEAQ and/or Scissors-Cut sampling processes, check:

If you're close to the borders, check the neighbors at:

Please Plan and Prepare for a Safe Hay Harvest.

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