With the rapid growth of the alfalfa over the weekend, the results from yesterdays clipping in Eastern Manitoba indicate that we are presently averaging a RFV of 195. Looking at some of the samples they are at or close to a RFV of 170.
Remember 170 is used to determine HAY DAY with the target being hay that is 150. Typically you could loose 15-20 points of RFV during the curing process. For silage that is taken up the same day losses are considerably less.
The other point is that some of the grasses are starting to head which makes it an ideal time for putting up Dairy Quality hay.
For the Western/Interlake and Central Manitoba, it looks like for most of these areas you should be cutting around May 30 if you are targeting for dairy quality hay at an RFV of 150. RFV has been dropping at a rate of 7pts/day in most areas and by targeting your first cut around 170 that allows for a 15-20 pt drop in RFV due to curing. For those that are taking silage you should be able to delay your cutting by 1-2 days.
John McGregor, MFGA