Harvest Help

Fall assessment of alfalfa stands

This is a good time for producers to determine whether to rotate out of alfalfa. Alfalfa is an amazing perennial crop that produces high yields of good quality forage in multiple cuttings per year, but over time stands become less productive. FULL STORY »

Late-maturing corn likely means higher moisture corn at harvest

Farmers should think twice before expecting Mother Nature to pay the cost of drying corn by leaving it in the field longer this harvest, says Ohio State University Extension corn expert Peter Thomison. "We don't encourage growers to leave corn in the field much past early November because after that there is really very little moisture loss in corn," he said. FULL STORY »

Michigan hay markets warming up

Like the last dog days of summer, the Michigan hay market is starting to warm up. With some carryover from the 2010 crop and a good first cutting in 2011, hay prices in Michigan this summer were nothing to brag about, let alone make much of a profit. FULL STORY »

Check that forage-nitrates in forages

Due to drought conditions in some areas dairy producers must once again be cautious about the potential for high levels of nitrates in forage crops to be used for silage. FULL STORY »

Late planted corn could make better silage than grain

Corn growers with late planted fields of corn may want to buffer the risk by selling selected fields for corn silage. Dairy and beef cattle producers will begin harvesting corn silage fields as they reach black layer maturity or total plant dry matter reaches optimum levels. FULL STORY »

Alfalfa and alfalfa-grass harvest plans

If you harvested first cut alfalfa and alfalfa-grass in mid-June you may be harvesting a third cut in late August. This assumes a 35-day interval between first and second cut, and 35-40 days between second and third. (Assuming 35- and 40-day intervals respectively, June 15th first cut = August 29th third cut.) This will in most cases preclude a fourth cut, though hope springs eternal. If we have adequate moisture and some warm weather your fourth crop may be looking pretty good by late September, but before heading out with the mower consider the following: FULL STORY »

Late summer alfalfa management key to strong spring stands

Good seedbed preparation and late summer management are among the biggest factors that determine a successful, high-yielding alfalfa crop. FULL STORY »

Try these tips for high-quality, high-yielding silage

With today's high feed costs, silage management can have a significant impact on your bottom line. That's why you must pay attention to hybrid selection, field conditions and harvest timing/management to help make the most of your silage crops. FULL STORY »

Better bunker management offers bottom-line advantages

Growing conditions determine fiber digestibility, and the right combination of weather conditions make for an optimum silage crop, say experts at Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business. While temperatures and moisture levels over the course of the growing season will set the stage, you can actively take steps to preserve silage quality once the silage is harvested through good management, resulting in better feeding material for your livestock. FULL STORY »

Test forage quality this spring

As wet weather continues to delay the alfalfa harvest in some areas, Purdue Extension specialists say the crop's nutritional value for livestock feed is on the decline. FULL STORY »

Alfalfa suffering from heavy rainfall and saturated soils

Consistently saturated soils from heavy spring rainfall have taken their toll on forage crops in some areas of the country, especially in alfalfa grown on soils that are less than moderately well drained. FULL STORY »

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