Prepare for Earlier Hay Harvest this Year
Posted: April 26, 2012
Penn State Forage Specialist, Marvin Hall recommends timing forage harvest based on the growth stage of the crop, not the calendar. Taking a timely cutting soon will likely promote excellent regrowth and set up a good potential for a second cutting prior to a possible hot and dry June.
Maturity is the most important factor affecting forage quality. As plant cell wall content increases, indigestible lignin accumulates. In fact, forage plant maturity changes so rapidly that it is possible to measure significant declines in forage quality every two or three days.
For more information on forage quality see Agronomy Facts 30, “Forage Quality in Perspective”. http://cropsoil.psu.edu/extension/facts/agronomy-facts-30