The first change in forage analysis in 30 years — relative forage quality — was well accepted at the recent World Dairy Expo.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” says Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin extension forage agronomist. “I walked around to hay booths and everyone said they were being asked about the RFQ of their forage. Apparently, the word is getting out.”

“The word” is that RFQ more accurately measures the energy value of forages than the old standard, relative feed value (RFV). That's because RFQ measures differences in fiber digestibility.

Results of individual superbowl samples, measured in both RFV and RFQ, show as much as 40 points difference. When there are big differences, the RFQ score is a better indication of how the forage will perform in a ration, says Undersander.

He was instrumental in developing the RFQ index, introduced earlier this year.