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CropTalk: Beck’s "Superbowl" Spotlight

March 2020

Published on Monday, March 02, 2020

For most, the words “super” and “bowl” together bring memories of hot wings, outrageous halftime shows, or funny commercials. But here at Beck’s, these words make us think of one of our favorite small seeds — alfalfa!

Alfalfa may not get the hype of a highly-televised sporting event, but it still deserves recognition, especially when that alfalfa is award-winning. During the 2019 World Dairy Expo in Madison, WI, Beck’s CavalryDQ alfalfa earned second-place honors in the dairy hay category and fifth place in the commercial hay category at the World Forage Analysis Superbowl.

The samples were grown by the Petersons, Theo, his dad, Ted, his mom, Julie, his wife, Rose, and his brother, Charlie. They have been loyal Beck's customers for six years. Peterson Farms submitted in the commercial hay category, while their customers, Reimer Dairy, submitted a sample in the dairy hay category for that second-place nod.

“I was extremely impressed with the results at the World Forage Analysis Superbowl,” said Theo. “I thought we just sent it up there to go through the motions. We had a test on it at 240 RFQ, and I didn’t think we would make the finals.”

This was the first year the Petersons submitted samples into the contest, but they have been expanding their premium alfalfa offerings for the past five years. “When we started, we only had 38 acres of alfalfa and wrapped about 200 bales,” said Theo. “Now we are at a little over 300 acres. We were able to wrap just under 4,000 bales last year, plus a few custom jobs.”

The Petersons have a 1,400-acre farm in Wisconsin and mainly focus on corn and soybeans. But five years ago, a friend came to them with an opportunity in the premium alfalfa market.

“We have a good friend we work with on the agronomy side that helps us manage things, and he does a lot of work with dairies up north of here,” said Theo. “There are not a ton of dairies where we are, but, to the north, he had a couple of customers who were short on highquality alfalfa. On our operation, we aim for premium quality — 200 Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) and above.”

The high-quality alfalfa is in especially high demand for dairy goat farms. Theo said after getting into this business, he realized just how many dairy goat farms were around him.

“A couple of our dairy goat customers that have been milking for 30 years said this past season’s hay was the best they have seen,” he said.

The Petersons are planning to submit samples in the 2020 superbowl in the commercial hay, dairy hay, and baleage categories, as long as the weather and growing season cooperate. Next year will be the 37th World Forage Analysis Superbowl.

Congratulations on the 2019 win, Peterson Farms, and we will be cheering you on in 2020 — maybe while enjoying some hot wings and dressed in our Beck’s alfalfa gear! If you’d like more information on the Petersons' high-quality hay, visit petersonqualitybal.wixsite.com/4020.

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Author: Ashley Heyen

Categories: CropTalk, 2020

Tags: CropTalk, alfalfa

Ashley Heyen
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Ashley Heyen

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