By Dan Martens, U of M Extension Educator, Stearns - Benton - Morrison Counties
I'm posting here a link to data from fields checked on May 19. The first page shows information for all farms for May 19, followed by all tests so far listed by individual farms. These are listed generally from south to north: Scott, Carver, McLeod, Meeker, Wright, Stearns, Benton, Morrison Counties.
This information was updated around 3:30 pm. on Friday May 20.
Click here for the updated May 19 report Alfalfa Field Data 05 19 2011.pdf
An NDSU forage specialist suggested a couple of years ago: when alfalfa gets around 22 to 24 inches tall, start looking a weather opportunity to harvest milk cow quality hay. Your past experience on your farm is an important part of making decisions.
We might consider haylage or baleage options when weather and soil moisture conditions make it more difficult put up dry hay. Credible organic acid preservatives, like buffered propionic acid can be helpful if hay is almost dry enough to bale.
Monday will be the third sampling day in some fields and that information might provide a more clear trend of how the hay crop is progressing.