Agriculture Impact June 2024

A series of first cutting alfalfa height and maturity data collections using Predictive Equations for Alfalfa Quality (PEAQ) sticks and scissor clips for Eastern Wisconsin farmers and agriculture professionals to help them appropriately target harvest timing. Further, this effort provides data that can be valuable to making management recommendations and decisions throughout the growing season and beyond to increase feed quality and alfalfa persistence.  Alfalfa is a key crop in Wisconsin, and proper management is important to ensure we optimize yield and quality for dairy producers. First cutting alfalfa provides the largest yielding crop in a multiple cutting system, but challenging spring harvest conditions can result in missed opportunities to meet producer needs. Additionally, late harvest can affect the overall yield and quality of an alfalfa field.  In response to this need, I collected alfalfa maturity measurements and quality samples in Sheboygan and Fond du Lac counties, following the standard procedures set out by UW Extension. Resulting data was collected and shared with the State Alfalfa outreach specialist as well as producers and agriculture professionals in the four county region via e-newsletter.    

A regional agriculture newsletter for Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Washington and Ozaukee county agriculture producers, industry representatives and agency staff that provides timely crop production updates, dairy and farm management resources and upcoming agriculture events. The goal is to create awareness of Extension programming and research in the region and maintain a connection between UW and the ag community.

 Crop, dairy and livestock producers make key management decisions every day based on challenges related to markets, weather and farm goals. It is important for them to have access to up-to-date information and opportunities to help them choose production methods that help them achieve their goals. As a result, the Regional Ag Updates newsletter is prepared and e-mailed to approximately 900 ag producers, agency staff and agribusiness consultants that support farmers.  This newsletter shares field trial opportunities, timely management updates and tools to support production decisions, along with UW Extension and partner event opportunities. This newsletter consistently has a 40% open rate and one recipient shared the importance of having upcoming local and statewide events listed in one place. It further has become a great partnership tool between Extension and local producer-led watershed groups, land and water departments and state agencies. This effort creates a greater awareness of resources available to support their farm production goals. 

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