The WAC and CCE staff have been conducting their annual grass sampling of legume and mixed legume/grass fields across the county at elevations from 1,070 to 2,200 feet. Follow this link to see the most recent results and to find a location with similar forage type and elevation to your farm. Find Scissor Cut results here.
For 2021 staff will be reporting several measures of forage quality. Different types and groups of cattle have different demands and each measure tells a slightly different story. If harvesting for dairy forage, we suggest harvesting based on NDF, for beef choose and appropriate TDN target or the animals you will be feeding.
NDF – Neutral Detergent Fiber is a measure of the structural fiber in a feed sample. NDF correlates well with how much forage a cow can eat (gut fill). Earlier cut hay = lower NDF = higher dry matter intake = higher performance.
TDN – Total Digestible Nutrients The sum of the digestible fiber, protein, lipid, and carbohydrate components. TDN is a measure of energy available from forage and is related to digestible energy. TDN is useful for beef cow rations that are primarily forage. Higher TDN values indicate higher energy available, cattle groups with higher energy demands require higher TDN intakes.
TDN goals for Beef Cattle Forage:
Growing Calf (2lb ADG) 70 – 72, Growing Yearling (2lb ADG) 64 – 66, Lactating Beef Cow 60 – 64, Mature Dry Cow 52 – 55