The California chapter of ARPAS (American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists), in conjunction with Sapienza Analytica LLC, presented results of a study proposing a new approach to measuring pure-stand alfalfa hay quality at the American Dairy Science Association annual meeting this past July in Denver.

Currently, forage quality and marketing systems in California are fiber-based, a practice dating from the mid-19th century. Researchers are hoping to revamp this system to provide dairy farmers, hay brokers, alfalfa farmers and nutritionists with more information about alfalfa, including rate and extent of degradability.

“Our goal is to develop the methodology to better predict how hay will be utilized by the animal, and then price hay accordingly,” says Carl Old, an independent nutritionist who is working on the study.