Warm, spring weather has hastened the growth and development of alfalfa across the Midwest, but recent frosts may have slowed the way alfalfa plants lay down fiber.
In Michigan, growing degree days are running about two weeks ahead of the 30-year average. Based on growing degree days, neutral detergent fiber levels should average about 32.0% on May 7. But based on wet chemistry, the actual level of NDF was 2.8 percentage units lower.
To compensate for the difference, dairy producers should delay cutting, say Michigan State University Extension specialists.