I am posting three items based on the March 21 Sauk Centre Hay Auction:
Mar 21 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf... a list of loads sold, divided by kind and type of bale of hay or bedding, RFV in 25 point groups for alfalfa, grass based on protein... cost per pound of dry matter and per RFV are calculated.
History of Selected Lots 2012 2013.pdf... Average and range for Medium Square alfalfa RFV 101-200 in 25 point groups, medium square straw and round bales grass hay 5-9% protein
Graph 2001 to 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf.. Line graph for Medium Square Alfalfa groups 101-200 RFV.
Read further for discussion about evaluating alfalfa stands this spring
Alfalfa growers are thinking about dry weather last fall related to building
root reserves, cold weather, snow, winter rain, ice, spring freeze/thaw. The
central part of Minnesota should be in better shape generally than some other
areas, and damage could be minimal. Stand
assessments can be made when the alfalfa has had a chance to get to be about 6
inches tall. That might be close to May 1 or the first week of May depending on
how spring unfolds. Alfalfa growers should always have a plan for where they
would plant alfalfa next as needed; and where alfalfa is terminated to make use of nitrogen credits in meeting nutrient needs for the next crop.
Stems counts can be useful in the spring. It's also helpful to dig out and examine tap roots to a depth of 6 inches or so in several locations in fields. Roots can be cut lengthwise. Health roots are white and firm. It's not unusual to find some browning on the inside of roots and crowns as stands get older.
Regional Extension Educators Doug
Holen, Phil Glogoza, and U of M forage researcher Craig Sheaffer off a more
complete discussion of this topic at the Minnesota Crop News website: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/efans/cropnews
or search for "Minnesota Extension Crop News".
A picture sheet discussion of internal root conditions can be found at http://learningstore.uwex.edu/assets/pdfs/a3620.pdf
or search for "Wisconsin Extension Alfalfa Stand Assessment."
In Stearns, Benton, and Morrison Counties, you're also welcome to call Extension Educator Dan Martens for more of this information and related questions. Call 1-800-964-4929 or 968-5077 if a local call to Foley.