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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


Using PEAQ to Estimate Alfalfa NDF for Multiple Cuttings

Much of the region’s alfalfa crop has been harvested over the past two weeks.  As cooler temperatures move into the area regrowth will likely slow down. Once regrowth reaches 16 inches tall again, the NDF (neutral detergent fiber crude protein) can rapidly be estimated in the field using the predictive equations for alfalfa quality (PEAQ).

Instructions on how to rapidly measure NDF in the field can be found HERE. This in-field estimate can be useful for timing each of your subsequent harvests in different fields, based on your forage quality goals.

It’s important to remember PEAQ NDF estimates are to be only used in standing pure alfalfa stands. PEAQ will not provide growers with an accurate representation of quality once the alfalfa has been cut, cured, and stored. After the forage is stored, samples should be sent to a lab to determine nutritive values for fitting the forage into a ration.

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.