By Dan Martens, Extension Educator Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
Check Alfalfa Field Data 06 02 2011.pdf for information we have so far from alfalfa fields sampled on June 1 & 2. This list includes the most recent info from farms where we don't have June 1 or 2 info. It also includes all information for individual farms.
See "Continued Reading" for some notes about "yellow alfalfa" and "alfalfa weevil."
Hay harvest is underway. It is more common with cool weather to have noticeable variability from farm to farm and even from field to field. As we go north, there are field on colder soils that have not reached bud stage yet.
Yellow Alfalfa. Crop Consultant Rick Gilbertson in the St. Cloud / Rice area reports yellow alfalfa more common in low spots in fields. Rick says that alfalfa is like other plants that stand in saturated soil to long - yellow. These areas could be subject to further decline over time. You could expect that even "phytophthora resistant" varieties would cave in to intense wet conditions eventually. Consider digging roots and splitting roots to check exterior and interior health.
Alfalfa Weevil. Bruce Potter at the Lamberton Research Center sent a not today: Alfalfa Weevil are doing fine at Lamberton, 10 or more larvae per sweep here, but only 30% tip feeding. I'll add that I found 1 larvae in about 20 sweeps here in Benton County this morning. Our hatch can be expected to be behind Lamberton. People who are cutting now should watch second crop regrowth and watch throughout the second crop season, maybe even third crop regrowth as we move north if weather stays noticeably cooler than normal. For more info try a Web search for "Minnesota Extension Forage Days Alfalfa Weevil."
I have NOT found "Potato Leafhoppers" in the net yet. Weather systems that bring warm air and moisture from the Texas Gulf Coast can bring potato leafhoppers into the area. It wouldn't surprise me to find some.