by Dan Martens, U of M Extension Educator in Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
1. Reports from May 2, 2013 Sauk Centre Hay Auction (here)
2. Winter Alfalfa Injury Resources (read more)
3. Alfalfa Harvest Alert Scissors Cut Project in Central MN (read more)
MAY 2 HAY AUCTION REPORTS
May 2 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf ... A summary of all tested hay lots and bedding materials sold... grouped by kind of hay, type of bale and 25 RFV points... cost per pound of dry matter and per RFV point are calculated.
History of Selected Lots 2012 2013.pdf ... A summary of hay auctions held this year showing Medium Square Alfalfa 101-200 RFV divided in 25 RFV groups, and medium sq. straw.
Graph 2001 to 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf ... A line graph of these auctions from 2001 to 2013. For the Feb 16 auction, the 176-200 RFV group is just one load - so not really an average.
The next auction at Sauk Centre will be held on Thursday May 16.
Extension Staff, farmers and agribusiness people have been busy for the last 10 days or so evaluating fields and sorting out information together that might be useful in dealing with significant winter injury to alfalfa. At this time it looks like the most serious issues are across southern MN and southern Wisconsin.
There are some problems through central Minnesota also, but generally not as widespread and not as intense. But if you have a lot of it on your own farm, it is significant.
We have posted some articles that might be useful on the Extension Agriculture Crops Web page. Go to
Look for "New Resources" in the upper right-hand corner.
The most recent article is an overview of alfalfa evaluation, crop strategies, livestock strategies.Other articles provide more detail about some topics. More may be added during the coming week.
I believe Jim Salfer is summarizing some of this for an article in the next DairyStar.
Because Wisconsin is dealing with a lot of this too, The Wisconsin Extension Forage website is a good source for a lot of practical information related alternative forage crops and related issues.
You can also do a search for "Minnesota Crop News" to catch information and links.
THIS IS A GREAT PLACE TO PICK UP CURRENT INFORMATION AS THE CROP SEASON UNFOLDS WITH A VARIETY OF CROP ISSUES.
SURVEY - Some Extension staff are working on a web based survey to see what we can learn from this experience this year - any key factors and trends related to alfalfa and grass hay or pasture problems. So some of you might watch for that.
ALALFA HARVEST ALERT SCISSORS CUT PROJECT - CENTRAL MN
We will be working with the Central MN Forage Council and cooperating farmers and agribusinesses again this year. I doubt if we will take our first samples before May 20, unless things take off in an unusual way. I am attaching a new release about or plans for this year based on arrangement that are confirmed so far. Please let me know if you have any question or suggestions about this.
2008 was a really slow spring. We took our first samples on May 22 with alfalfa 14 to 16 inches tall. The main harvest push from June 2 to 9. Rain showers scattered through the last week of May and first 10 days of June and made harvest decisions more challenging.
Let's encourage each other to work safely and patiently along with persistently and strategically. Let's think about that with family and working relationships as well as with the work. I'm still learning that too.