Forages Continue to Mature

Forage stands that have survived this year continue to advance in maturity. Some producers in northeast Ohio were able to harvest last week, and many wet-wrapped the forage. Unfortunately, in other parts of Ohio, the rains have continued, and the forecast is not good for drying conditions this week. Although forages are ready for harvesting (see table below), keep in mind that harvesting when the soil is too wet and soft will do non-reversible compaction damage to the stand and will lower the productivity the rest of this year and into future years.

Below is the update on the neutral detergent fiber (NDF) levels of alfalfa standing in the field. A short video describing the method we used to estimate NDF in the field can be found at the following website: https://forages.osu.edu/video. Look for the title “Estimating Alfalfa Quality in the Field”. Keep in mind that this method is for pure alfalfa stands.

Grasses will raise the NDF content. In central Ohio, grasses were fully headed this week. Pure grass stands and grass-alfalfa mixtures should be harvested first when the opportunity presents itself.

The following shows our NDF estimates in alfalfa fields from several counties in the past two days:

County

Date

Minimum %NDF

Maximum %NDF

Average %NDF

Auglaize

27-May

38.0

42.8

40.9

Clark

28-May

39.7

46.8

44.8

Wayne

28-May

41.4

44.9

42.9

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About the C.O.R.N. Newsletter

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.