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Alfalfa Harvest Alert Info - May 21, 2015

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties,, 320-968-5077 if a local call to Foley or 1-800-964-4929

UPDATED DOCUMENT Friday May 22 at 5 p.m. (All but 2 Thursday/Friday Data)
Here is a link to all the Alfalfa Harvest Alert Scissors-Cut information we have received so far from sampling done on Thursday May 21: May 21 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Scissors Cut Data

Please let me know if something looks to be in error.

Please note cooperators and sponsors listed in this report, and tell them and cooperating farmers, “Thanks for your efforts with this.”

Please plan and works for a SAFE hay harvest.

Hope you have a meaningful and enjoyable Memorial Day.

On behalf of U of M Extension Colleagues Nathan Winter and Abby Neu, 
and the Central MN Forage Council

Samples from the farms marked with an *asterisk are still from earlier in the week. Most of their Thursday samples will get to the lab on Friday & I will update this posting at this link if there is time on Friday. The Rickeman and Fisher fields will be sample on Friday May 22. I should get height, maturity and PEAQ estimates on Friday, but lab samples probably not until next Tuesday.

Cooperators might sample on Monday May 25 or Tuesday May 26. Samples won’t be carried by mail on Monday and labs won’t be open on Monday.


I got a call on Wednesday and Thursday about farms where they were considering giving up on alfalfa fields.

A core question seems to be, “What kind of feed do you need and what can you make use of – related to ration strategies and feed inventories?” I did see a NDSU discussion about stem counts, showing that 20 HEALTHY stems per square foot could represent plants that could produce 3 ton per acre through the season with adequate moisture. Or, “What might be a more profitable use of the land at this point in the season?”

Past experiences of the farmer, nutrition feed reps, and agronomy advisors are very significant. Feed needs and strategies can be different from farm to farm.

I believe there are articles still posted from dealing with these two issues during the last two years. Try a website search for "Minnesota Extension Dairy" or "Minnesota Extension Forage" or contact Extension Staff who may be able to help you connect to information that might be useful. 

OTHER CROP NEWS Check other Minnesota Crop News articles that might be useful to you.
Evaluating Soybean Emergence Issues
Evaluating Corn Emergence Issues
Evaluating Frost and Cold Weather Issues

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