Integrated Crop Management News

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From research on the relationships of measurable plant characteristics to forage quality has come a quite simple and relatively accurate estimate of the feeding quality of the standing alfalfa crop.

The method requires:

  • The target average forage quality to be stored. (Example 150 RFV [relative feed value])
  • A 2-square-foot frame
  • A simple definition for alfalfa maturity based on easily identifiable traits.
  • An estimate of the approximate percent harvest loss expected (10 percent loss under the best conditions; 15 percent may be average. (Expect higher losses under less than optimal harvest conditions.)

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Iowa State University



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