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Alfalfa Continues to Mature

By Angela Arnold and Jason Hartschuh

Alfalfa stands across Ohio continued to mature in the past week despite our cooler temperatures and significant rainfall totals. Alfalfa fields jumped about 2-3 NDF percentage units in the last week depending on the geographical location. As warmer temperatures are expected to persist across the state in the next week, %NDF values will likely increase 5 percentage units or more. As a quick reminder, alfalfa values ranging near 40-42% NDF are ideal for lactating dairy cows.  Higher NDF values are acceptable for classes of livestock with lower nutrient demands. Below is an updated table with the most recent alfalfa % NDF Field estimations.

Date

Location (County)

Average Height

Stage

Average %NDF

5/6/22

Adams

22

Vegetative & Bud

33.5

5/9/22

Crawford

18

Vegetative

29.9

5/9/22

Geauga

11

Vegetative

NA

5/9/22

Licking

24.7

Vegetative

34.5

5/9/22

Putnam

16

Vegetative

28.6

5/9/22

Stark

19

Vegetative

30.6

5/9/22

Wayne

18.3

Vegetative & Bud

30.6

*Alfalfa fields with a max height below 16 inches cannot be calculated using the PEAQ method

There have also been some reports of alfalfa weevil feeding across the state. In addition to keeping a close watch on alfalfa development for making harvest decisions, producers should be monitoring alfalfa weevil to determine if harvesting earlier is warranted.  If alfalfa weevil damage is at or over the economic threshold, growers should consider cutting earlier to eliminate the risk of losing quality due to weevil feeding. Visit HERE for a factsheet on alfalfa weevil.

Source : osu.edu

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