by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
The link listed here provides Central MN Alfalfa Harvest Alert Scissors-Cut data through May 25. If we get additional information for May 25, it will be updated in the link posted here.
More fields have been cut. Most harvest decisions will be driven by the weather and field soil conditions. Heavy rains will make it difficult to get on some heavier loam soils now. When the weather and fields allow, it will still pay to do the best we can to put hay up in the best physical condition we can. Using a good bacterial inoculant for wet baleage and haylage is a good idea.
I've gotten a couple more reports this week of Alfalfa Weevil Larva and/or Potato leaf-hoppers being at threshold levels for treatment. Pay attention to plant bugs too. Follow the threshold numbers to reduce the need to respray, risk for resistance, wasted dollars, and unnecessary impacts on the environment.
If your practice is to spread fertilizer after first crop, consider whether fields will carry equipment well. If so get it done soon before there is much regrowth. Use 25 pounds of sulfur per acre on moderately coarse and coarse textured soils and where the top soil is worn away on fields (low organic matter.) Consider soil tests and University of Minnesota Guidelines for Phosphorus, Potassium and Boron as other nutrients that are commonly considered for alfalfa.
The Central MN Forage Council and U of M Extension are working with Earl and Darlene Felling to have a forage field day on Friday June 15 starting at 11:00. The field tour will be followed by lunch and then a dairy tour with the Felling for those with an interest.
WEED MANAGEMENT in seeding alfalfa is the main theme of the field tour. The Felling planted Roundup Ready Alfalfa this spring. A plot treated with Prowl pre-plant incorporated. Post emerge application will be made with Roundup, Raptor and 2,4-DB.
A Headline fungicide application will also be made on the field. Discussion will be offered about work that is being done with tissue sampling for alfalfa.
We'll visit with Earl about practices he has used over the year in seeding and managing alfalfa stands.
We'll offer some discussion about any current issues with hay crops, Alfalfa Weevil Larva, Potato leaf-hoppers, others.
Centa Sota Cooperative is providing the main portion of the lunch. Other sponsors with the event as of today include Land O Lakes, BASF, and Ag Star Financial Services.
The Felling farm is located about 6.5 miles north of Albany on MN 238 and then east about 1 mile on Viewcrest Road. Watch for signs.
Pre-registration is helpful for meal planning, but not required. Register or get other information by calling U of M Extension at 1-800-964-4929 or 968-5077 if a local call to Foley.