The proper cutting height in your hay field not only effects the grass' ability to regrow, but can adversely effect milk production in your herd.  In the latest edition of Cornell Field Crop News, Joe Lawrence says there's not a "one size fits all" answer.

Obviously the lower you cut your alfalfa or grass field, the more yield you get. Lawrence says today's equipment can allow you to drop the cut height from 4 inches to 2, gaining up to a half-ton of extra yield over the course of a year.  But with that comes additional dirt and debris and that can effect milk production.

It has been reported that a 2 percent increase in ash (from 9 to 11 percent) can reduce milk by 1.9 lbs/cow/day (Sniffen, Fencrest, LLC.)

Rakes can also be guilty of kicking up dirt and debris if set too low.  And while alfalfa may rebound from a shorter cutting, some grass fields don't come back as fast or as hearty.   Lawrence has some specific recommendations and suggestions in his online blog.

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