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May 19 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties, Crop Production Emphasis, 968-5077 if a local call to Foley or 1-800-964-4929.

Click on May 19 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data to see information through 4:30 p.m. on May 20. I expect a few more lab report on Friday and will update the document link here. 

Click on Graphs Alfalfa Sampling to see a crude attempt to graph this data. I added trend lines that are formulated by the spread sheet and a couple that I took a guess at. That levels up some of the hills and valleys, but doesn't necessarily tell you what you can bank on. So don't take it too seriously. Generally unless something pretty drastic happens the crop probably doesn't drop like a rock or soar like a rocket.

Click on Example Field Measurements provided by Nathan Winter and Intern Hollie Donnay. This shows how variations across field are accounted for. 1=Vegetative, 2= Bud.

Maybe the best suggestion is - A thoughtful walk in the field related to what the farmer sees the hay to be like based on past field and feeding experience is core to the process.
And … You’re kind of on your own with whatever weather clues you find the most useful.

It surprises me some fields have not grown more since Monday. Someone asked me today if it was getting dry. Some places maybe. Someone commented that the cold weather recently maybe gave the crop a bit of a shock to get over, even though stem tops and growth points look fine.

You can dig around in the top of a few more stems and find a little bit of a bud, the size of a pin head or less maybe. I might have been a little generous with my Benton County assessment of budding.

Some Wisconsin Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data, Calumet County, if you have a little time to be curious. (But don’t let web surfing eat your lunch.)
This is in the Appleton Oshkosh area on the eastern border, kind of on line east of Rochester, if I’m reading my map correctly.

Check out other information posted here at MN Crop News. I see an article today about factors that might be considered in reducing lodging risk on small grain. Last year seemed to be a year to push the crop to the limits.

We are seeing some signs of new life in some of the corn plants that were frosted.

Please Make SAFETY a priority during the spraying and haying season.

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