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Central MN Alfalfa Harvest Alert May 26 Update

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

Check "continued reading"   for an update of PEAQ and Forage lab data from fields checked on Thursday May 26 as of Friday May 27 about 5:00 p.m. The NORMAL technology failed me in trying to attach a pdf document. You'll have to look back at the first May 26 posting for previous test results on individual farms.

Weather: Notes at the end of the report include comments from Extension Climatologist Mark Seeley about weather prospects over the next couple of weeks.

Alfalfa Weevil: Notes at the end of the report include a couple observations about alfalfa weevil also.

Look back at archived 1st May 26 posting for previous readings. Some samples have not made it to or through the lab yet.

NDF at 40 is considered typical with RFV at 150. We can gain 3-6 points NDF from the field to the feed manger with harvest and storage losses. To have alfalfa in the manger at 40 or less, harvest might start with field samples at 34-35-36.

Carver Co

Hoen by Bongard, Height 27, Buds, PEAQ RFV Estimate 167, Lab RFV 192, NDF 33, Crude Protein 23.4

Wandersee by Watertown, Hgt 24, Veg, PEAQ 190, lab 194, NDF 32.7, cp 24.4

McLeod Co

Anderson by Lester Prairie, Hgt 23.1, Buds, PEAQ 185, lab test not back

Meeker Co

Bohn by Cedar Mills, Hgt 21.7, buds, PEAQ 191, Lab 186 NDF 33.5, cp 22.6

Wright Co

Poppler by Waverly Sample Wed May 25 with thoughts of cutting on Thursday

         htg 28, veg, peaq 171, lab 181, ndf 34.7, cp 23.1

Krause west of Buffalo hgt 24.5, buds, peaq 178 lab 201, ndf 31.7, cp 23.2


Gathje by Eden Valley hgt 22, veg, peaq 208, lab 268, ndf 25.1, cp 26. I'd guess the lab test to be higher than what seems real in the field based on previous tests and normal conditions.

Maus south of Freeport, hgt 20.5, veg, peaq 208, lab 268, ndf 25.1, cp 24.3. I'd have more confidence in the peaq rfv here also.

Frericks north of Melrose, hgt 24, buds, peaq 188, lab 227, ndf 28.8, cp 24.5 hmmmm.


Winkelman east of Duelm, hgt 22.3, 20% buds, peaq 190, lab 218, ndf 30.2, cp 24.3

D Scapanski NE of Sauk Rapids, hgt 23.7, 30% buds, peaq 186, lab 198, ndf 32.3, 23.1

O & S Dairy east of Rice, hgt 25, 30% buds, peaq 182, lab 195, ndf 32.7, cp 24.1


Roerick SE of Upsala, hgt 21, veg, peaq 205, lab 220, ndf 25.2, cp 27.4

Just north of Pierz, hgt 24, veg, peaq 188, lab 220, ndf 29.6, cp 25.9

Weather comments by Mark Seeley, U of M Extension Climatologist

Forecast models show a significant warm-up following chances of showers over Memorial Weekend. Temps in the 70's, maybe 80 and 50's at night.

First few days of June (1-3) should be relatively dry, followed by chances for rain June 4-6.

Then a second longer drier period should prevail June 6-12 in most areas of Minnesota, except SE areas where passing low pressure systems will bring daily chance for showers. Perhaps the drier intervals will allow getting more field work done.

Alfalfa Weevil. I did see some pin hole feeding in some leaves at the legume/grass species plot north of St Joseph on May 26. Growing Degree Days are too low yet for a large amount of hatching to have occurred yet. It will be prudent to continue to watch as we wait for 1st crop harvest and probably more so in second crop regrowth and continued growth. A cool spring delays hatch, and I think from previous experiences may make for a more "strung-out" hatch.

It is important to NOT spray for insects unless standard population thresholds are reached.

Use Google to search for "Minnesota Extension Alfalfa Weevil."

One helpful item can be found by going a Google search for "Minnesota Extension Forage Days 2009 Alfalfa Weevil."

Please have a safe, enjoyable, meaningful Memorial Day Weekend
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