Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Dwane Miller, Extension Educator, Agronomy, Penn State UniversityWhile many parts of Pennsylvania have yet to take a cutting of hay in 2018, I was on a farm in Chester County in mid-May where first cutting alfalfa/orchardgrass was made the previous week. As you head to the field this year, it’s important to pay attention to cutting height in your hay crop. One of our goals as farmers is to maximize our yield; however, cutting a hay crop too low can lead to several negative issues.The introduction of the disk-type mowers (discbines) allows for cutting very close to the ground. I’ve seen many fields that have been “scalped” right to ground level. This differs considerably from the older sickle bar mowers (haybines), whose technology required some level of stubble height remain. Stand longevity can be compromised when the crop is cut too low. As a general rule, alfalfa can be cut closer to the ground than our grass hay crops. We need to think about where energy reserves are stored in the crop. For alfalfa, carbohydrates are stored below ground in the taproot. Our grass hay crops store their energy above ground in the stem base or tillers. Frequent mowing at a close height will continue to deplete these energy reserves, resulting in stand longevity issues.The second consequence for mowing too close to the ground is increased ash content of the forage. All forage has a natural ash content of approximately 6%. However, mowing too closely with disk mowers can add soil to the crop, and increase the ash content by as much as 10% to 12% (18% ash content in total analysis). If we all had table-top smooth fields, it would also be much easier to make a closer cut across all fields. However, things such as groundhog holes and the unevenness of fields can add to increased ash content of our harvested forage.So, the million dollar question is how low can you go? The best answer is…it depends! The first question I always ask is: is it a solid stand or a mixed stand? If you have grasses involved, you must keep cutting height higher than a pure stand of legume, if you want to keep the grass in the stand. Keep in mind these are minimum recommendations; it’s okay to mow higher than the numbers below. Here are my minimum cutting height recommendations:Alfalfa or clover2 inches minimum. Some literature shows a cutting height of 1 inch will not reduce stand longevity, but remember the increased ash content issue. Also, keep in mind that frequent cutting at early maturity will continue to deplete carbohydrate reserves. One cutting of alfalfa should be allowed to reach the bloom stage each year.Cool season grasses (Orchardgrass, Timothy)4 inches during the establishment year3 inches minimum during production years. This is where we see most of our stand longevity issues. Frequent cutting of cool season grasses at a low height will continue to deplete energy reserves.Mixed standsYou must manage for the predominant species. Do you have a grass stand with some alfalfa, or an alfalfa stand with some grass?Alfalfa with some grass: 2.5-inch minimumGrass with some alfalfa: 3-inch minimum (if you want to keep the grass stand!)
In a typical home, the refrigerator accounts for about 8% of the total annual energy expense, according to 2005 data from the U.S. Department of Energy. While this energy consumption for food storage is significant, it’s far less than it was a few decades ago. In the mid-1970s, an average new refrigerator used about 1,800 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, making it the single most expensive energy load in many homes.Today, even though refrigerators are significantly larger than in the mid-70s, the energy use has dropped dramatically, due to more efficient compressors, improved insulation, and other features.Refrigerators sold today must meet minimum energy performance standards, which are set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). These standards are based on a complicated formula that factors in size, configuration, and features. The maximum electricity consumption for a typical 19-cubic-foot top-freezer model works out to about 500 kWh/year. With side-by-side refrigerator-freezers that maximum consumption is a lot higher. Energy Star refrigerators use at least 20% less energy than the federal limit. Both the federal energy performance standards and Energy Star requirements have been tightened periodically since those programs were first launched.So, if you have an old fridge, chances are pretty good that it’s an energy hog and you could save a lot of energy by replacing it. To find out how much electricity your existing fridge is using, buy or borrow an electricity monitor (see last week’s column), plug your fridge into it for a week or two, then calculate the annual usage.If you decide to buy a new fridge, here are some tips:Use the yellow EnergyGuide labels to compare one model to another in the appliance store. These guides show the annual electricity consumption based on standardized testing; as with automobile fuel economy ratings, your actual energy use may vary.Choose an Energy Star-certified refrigerator. The current Energy Star standard for refrigerators requires 20% lower electricity use than the federal maximum, so if you see the Energy Star logo on a fridge, you can be confident that it’s a pretty energy-efficient model.Manual defrost saves energy. The most energy-efficient refrigerators are manual-defrost models, but these are available primarily with small, low-end products aimed at the rental-apartment market or with specialized (expensive) models designed for “off-grid” homes powered by solar or wind energy.Choose a top-freezer or bottom-freezer model over a side-by-side refrigerator-freezer. Side-by-side models use significantly more energy because of their larger size and larger door area. If you need additional freezer space, consider a chest freezer. Be aware that because the federal standards (and Energy Star certifications) vary by configuration, an Energy Star-certified side-by-side model may use significantly more energy than a non-Energy Star top-freezer model.Don’t buy a larger refrigerator than you need. Larger models usually use more energy than smaller ones—though this isn’t always the case (which is why it’s important to compare the yellow EnergyGuide labels)—see mini-fridges below.Avoid mini-fridges. Those small, under-counter refrigerators, even Energy Star-certified models, use significantly more electricity per cubic foot of capacity than full-size refrigerators. Under the federal standards, a 5-cubic-foot, under-counter refrigerator may use as much electricity as an 18-cubic-foot refrigerator-only model, yet it holds less than a third as much food! I’m not sure why the performance is so bad with mini-fridges; it has partly to do with the greater surface-to-volume ratio.Avoid through-the-door ice and water dispensers unless you really need these features, as they can increase electricity usage by 10 to 20%.Recycle the old one. If you’re getting a new fridge, avoid the temptation to keep the older one in your garage or basement to hold a few six-packs of beer or soda.Install the fridge away from heat sources. The waste heat from a kitchen range will make the refrigerator’s compressor work harder and thus use more electricity.Operate the fridge for energy savings. Some refrigerators have electric heating elements to keep the outer surface warm enough that condensation won’t occur. This feature wastes energy—both through the direct electricity use and by making the compressor work harder to keep the interior cold. If there’s an energy-saving switch on your refrigerator keep it set to the energy-saver mode unless condensation becomes a problem.
Carlo Peñalosa. Photo by Mark GiongcoAfter watching his cousin Dave show out with a fourth-round stoppage to win the WBO Oriental featherweight title, flyweight prospect Carlo Caesar Peñalosa knew he had to make it a double celebration.Carlo wound up earning his own knockout victory, outclassing Watana Phenbaan of Thailand in three rounds in the undercard of ESPN5’s fight card in association with GerryPens Promotions Saturday night at Skydome in SM North Edsa, Quezon City.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES “Congratulations to Dave. I’m very happy because we both won tonight,” he said.The 25-year-old Carlo landed a vicious body shot that ended the fight at the 2:22 mark of the third round.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesNot known for his knockout power, Carlo showed his punching power cannot be underestimated after racking up his fourth straight win via stoppage.His record now stands at 14-1, with seven knockouts. View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town MOST READ Dave Peñalosa stops Mexican bet in 4 rounds for WBO Oriental featherweight crown Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
MANILA, Philippines—Javee Mocon skied in at the nick of time and his heroic tip-in lifted the Rookies and Sophomores from the Juniors, 141-1400 in the RSJ Game of the PBA All-Star Weekend Friday in Calasiao.ADVERTISEMENT Eduard Folayang unfazed by Japan crowd in ONE title rematch with hometown bet Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Perez made the offensive rebound but he rushed his shot. Fortunately for him, there was Mocon who timed his tip perfectly.Although he missed his last second shot, Perez proved that he was the best of the bunch winning the MVP of the game after putting up 32 points and eight rebounds.Jeron Teng had 19 points and seven rebounds for theRookies-Sophomores with Mocon adding in 18 points, four rebounds, and five assists.Rashawn McCarthy had 24 points for the Juniors.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ View comments Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Mocon’s tip-in, though, was just part of the crazy final seconds of the game that saw a late-game foul, three missed free throws, and a blanked last-second heave.Robert Bolick stole the ball from Mac Belo who turned the ball over with around 16 seconds left after the Juniors’ timeout, leading to a frantic transition basket attempt on the part of the Rookies-Sophomores.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsCJ Perez put up a baseline three that bounced off the rim, but luckily for Rookies-Sophomores there was Jason Perkins who grabbed the rebound and forced a three-point attempt while drawing a foul on Jio Jalalon.Perkins needed to shoot just two of those freebies to give the Rookies-Sophomores, who were trailing 140-139, the victory but he botched all three. Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Google Philippines names new country director Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES