Orloff, Steve B.

July, 2001

By: Blank, Steven C.; Orloff, Steve B.; Putnam, Daniel H.
The "optimal cutting schedule" for alfalfa hay is described as a function of the trade-off between rising yield and falling quality of alfalfa over time and the local market prices being offered for different qualities of hay during the harvest season. Field test results quantify the yield/quality tradeoff for a California case study. A general decision rule is then derived to assist growers in making cutting decisions during a season. Finally, the optimal cutting schedule is shown to be the sum of sequential decisions for cuttings throughout the harvest season, with no schedule being best a priori.