Many producers have been wondering when they should harvest first-cutting alfalfa. The growing degree days (GDD) are running about two weeks ahead of the 30-year average, according to Michigan State University educators.

For the dairy producer, cutting alfalfa too late results in high neutral detergent fiber (NDF), increasing supplementary feed cost, but cutting too early increases the risk of inadequate NDF fiber concentration for proper rumen function.

To help solve the issue, several members of the MSU Extension Dairy and Forage Teams are collecting scissor-cut samples of alfalfa to get a snapshot of alfalfa quality.

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Source: Phil Kaatz, Faith Cullens, Kathy Lee, Roberta Osborne and Mike Allen, Michigan State University