Fond du Lac County Alfalfa Forage Quality Using PEAQ Readings & Scissor Cuts

Determining when to cut first-crop alfalfa is often difficult because alfalfa quality, relative to flowering stage, varies greatly. To help with this dilemma, agronomists at the University of Wisconsin – Madison developed the Predictive Equations for Alfalfa Quality (PEAQ) method which predicts alfalfa’s Relative Feed Value (RFV) at the time of cutting.

The Fond du Lac County Forage Council will be evaluating forage conditions by collecting biweekly PEAQ readings (days to be determined) starting Monday, May 14th. These PEAQ readings will be reported and available on the Fond du Lac County UW-Extension website.

The PEAQ Stick Method measures standing alfalfa’s forage quality before it is harvested by measuring alfalfa height using a wooden PEAQ measuring stick and an equation to determine alfalfa’s RFV. The RFV values are calculated based on the alfalfa plant’s maturity stage.

NOTE: This procedure estimates alfalfa RFV content of the standing crop. It does not account for changes in quality due to wilting, harvesting, and storage. These factors may further lower RFV content by 10 to 25 units, assuming good wilting and harvesting conditions. This procedure is most accurate for good stands of pure alfalfa with healthy growth.

PEAQ Stick Method

Results - May 31, 2018

Location Stage Height (in.) RFV
Campbellsport Bud phase, 1 yr stand 30 150
Eden Bloom, 3 yr stand 33 138
Malone Bud phase, 1yr stand 32 149

Results - May 29, 2018

Location Stage Height (in). RFV
Malone Bud phase, 1yr stand 30 156

Results - May 24, 2018

Location Stage Height (in.) RFV
Campbellsport Bud phase, 1 yr stand 25 175
Eden Bud phase, 3 yr stand 22 190
Malone Vegetative, 1 yr stand 24 190

Results - May 22, 2018

Location Stage Height (in.) RFV
Ripon Vegetative 23 195

Results - May 21, 2018

Location Stage Height (in.) RFV
Campbellsport Vegetative, 1 yr stand  20.5 210
Eden Vegetative, 3 yr stand  18 235
Malone Vegetative 21 205

Results - May 17, 2018

Location Stage Height (in.) RFV
Malone Vegetative 16.5 235

Results - May 14, 2018

Location Stage Height (in.) RFV
Malone Vegetative 15 245


Results - May 19, 2017

Location Stage Height (in.) RFV
Ripon1 Bud phase, 1 yr stand 24 180
Ripon 2 Bud phase, 1 yr stand 22.3 193
Campbellsport Bud phase 23 185
Mt. Calvary 15.6 239
Empire 24.5 182

Results - May 16, 2017

Location Stage Height (in.) RFV
Ripon 1 Vegetative – 1 yr stand 22.8 196
Ripon 2 Vegetative – 2 yr stand 19.8 210
Campbellsport Vegetative 21 205
Mt. Calvary Vegetative – 1 yr stand 14.5 251
Empire Vegetative 22.5 199

Results - May 12, 2017

Location Stage Height (in.) RFV
Ripon 1 Vegetative – 1 yr stand 19 217
Ripon 2 Vegetative – 2 yr stand 14.5 250
Campbellsport Vegetative 18 229
Mt. Calvary Vegetative – 1 yr stand 12 268


Scissor Cuts

Results - June 4, 2018

Location Scissors Cut Analysis
CP ADF NDF RFV
Rosendale 19 33 39 149

Results - May 29, 2018

Location Scissors Cut Analysis
CP ADF NDF RFV
Malone 21 26 37 163
Rosendale 22 37 42 133
South of Ripon 26 32 39 151
Campbellsport 20 42 49 105

Results - May 22, 2018

Location Scissors Cut Analysis
CP ADF NDF RFV
Campbellsport 27 26 29 219

Results - May 21, 2018

Location Scissors Cut Analysis
CP ADF NDF RFV
Malone 23 25 30 211
Rosendale 20 27 31 205


Results - May 31, 2016

Location Scissors Cut Analysis
CP ADF NDF RFV
Malone 20.3 34.4 40.1 143
Byron 19.5 36.7 42.7 131
Ripon 18.4 37.8 44.3 124
Campbellsport
Brownsville

Results - May 26, 2016

Location Scissors Cut Analysis Field PEAQ Estimate
CP ADF NDF RFV Maturity Height RFV
Malone 21.1  31.9  37.5  158 Bud 32″  149
Byron 21.5 31.3 36.3 164 Bud Lodge
Ripon 19.4  33.4  39.4 148 Bud Lodge  –
Campbellsport 21.9  32.3 38.3 155 Bud Lodge  –
Brownsville 18.6  33.4  39.1 149 Bud Lodge

Results - May 23, 2016

Location Scissors Cut Analysis Field PEAQ Estimate
CP ADF NDF RFV Maturity Height RFV
Malone 22.6 26.3 32.2 196 Pre-bud 29″ 167
Byron 21.3 29.7 34.0 179 Bud 30″ 156
Ripon 19.7 30.5 36.1 168 Pre-bud 26″ 180
Campbellsport 20.7 26.9 31.6 200 Pre-bud 26″ 180
Brownsville 20.1 28.9 33.9 183 Bud 30″ 156

Alfalfa scissor cut results will be available late afternoon Tuesday, May 24th.  

The next alfalfa scissors cut and PEAQ estimates will be taken on Thursday, May 26, 2016 with results available late afternoon Friday, May 27th.

Results - May 19, 2016

Location Scissors Cut Analysis Field PEAQ Estimate
CP ADF NDF RFV Maturity Height RFV
Malone  24.7 23.4  28.3  232 Veg 23-24″ 190
Byron 23.4  25.4  30.6 210 Pre-bud 24″ 190
Ripon 24.9 26.5  30.9 212 Veg 22″ 200
Campbellsport 24.3 25.8  30.6  209 Veg 23″ 195
Brownsville 22.9  24.7  29.6  218 Pre-bud 24″ 190
Dodge County
   Hustisford Veg 24″ 190
   Rubicon Veg 26″ 180
   Rubicon 22″ 200

The next alfalfa scissors cut and PEAQ estimates will be taken on Monday, May 23, 2016 with results available late afternoon Tuesday, May 24th.

Results - May 16, 2016

Location Scissors Cut Analysis Field PEAQ Estimate
CP ADF NDF RFV Maturity Height RFV
Malone 25.5 23.2 27.5 240 Veg 21″  205
Byron  24.1 25.4 30.0 215 Veg 22.5″ 200
Ripon 27.6 24.3 28.0 232 Veg 20″ 211
Campbellsport 23.8 24.2 28.3 230 Veg 19.5″ 217
Brownsville  24.6  23.8  28.3 231 Veg 23″ 195
Dodge County
   Hustisford 23″ 195
   Hustisford 25″ 176
   Hustisford Early bud 24″ 178
   Mayville 180

The next alfalfa scissors cut and PEAQ estimates will be taken on Thursday, May 19, 2016 with results available late afternoon Friday, May 20th.

Results - May 12, 2016

Location Scissors Cut Analysis Field PEAQ Estimate
CP ADF NDF RFV Maturity Height RFV
Malone 27.35 20.10 23.51 289 Veg 19″ 217
Byron 26.64 19.07 21.57 318 Veg 21″ 205
Ripon 27.18 23.44 25.29 242 Veg 20″ 211
Campbellsport  25.66 20.77 23.34 290 Veg 18″ 224
Brownsville  27.03  21.95 25.05 266 Veg 20″ 211

*Please note laboratory RFV appear unusually high based on height of plant and RFV of surrounding areas.  Due to unusually high values, scissor cut samples will be conducted on Monday, May 16th, with results available Tuesday, May 17th.

Results - May 9, 2016

Location Field PEAQ Estimate
  Maturity Height RFV
Malone Veg 16” 237
Byron Veg 18” 224
Ripon Veg 15”
Campbellsport Veg 15”
Brownsville Veg 18” 224

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