Forage Cutting Height Recommendations from Dr. Dan Undersander

It can become easy to focus on the current situation rather than what lies ahead. Same goes for makin’ hay. Oftentimes, producers cut forage as low as possible in order to yield a higher tonnage. University of Wisconsin Forage Agronomist warns producers that this isn’t always the best option, especially if you want to harvest high quality forage and allow the crop to grow back adequately for the next cutting.

Whether you’re doing custom work or baling hay for your own use, quality should be as important as quantity. To improve on both the quality and quantity of your hay, Dr. Undersander’s recommends keeping the following cutting heights in mind:

  • For alfalfa – minimum of 3 inches
  • For cool season grasses – minimum of 4 inches
  • For Sudan-type grasses – minimum of 6 inches