FOLEY, Minn. — All cooperators are now reporting results. Alfalfa harvest has begun as far north as Buckman which means we are almost finished with the Scissor Cut program for this season. There have been some reports of alfalfa weevils in western Minnesota and there is some shot holing in leaves here in central Minnesota. However, pest problems have remained low and damage has yet to reach economic thresholds. With harvest on the horizon, I would expect that most issues will need to be taken care of post-harvest. That is if they survive the harvest season. Regardless, stands should still be monitored for potential pest problems.
There are also reports of moisture-stressed fields. For these fields, consider the height of the alfalfa stand and the cost of harvesting that potential yield. For established alfalfa stands over 10 inches tall, harvest, provided it is economical. Cutting height should not be raised as there is no advantage to the alfalfa plant by increasing the cutting height during moisture stress. Alfalfa forage quality should be higher in moisture stressed fields meaning harvest can be delayed out until flowering without suffering the usual quality losses. For fields under 10 inches tall, cutting is not recommended. New regrowth will come through the existing stand and can be harvested provided moisture conditions improve.
The following are the most recent scissor cut results available:
Nicollet County – Annexstad Dairy near Norseland; May 24th, Height = 25 inches, PEAQ = 185
Sibley County – Belter Dairy near Glencoe; May 24th, Ht = 24 PEAQ = 191
Carver County – Dreier Farm near Norwood; May 20th, Ht = 22, PEAQ = 190, RFQ = 264, CP = 26
McLeod County – Krienke near Lester Prairie; May 24th, Ht = 28, PEAQ = 164, RFQ = 223, CP = 25
Wright County – Poppler near Howard Lake; May 24th, Ht = 28, PEAQ = 164, RFQ = 229, CP = 26
Krause near Buffalo; May 24th, Ht = 27, PEAQ = 170, RFQ = 191, CP = 23
Stearns County – Gathje near Eden Valley; May 24th, Ht = 23, PEAQ = 195, RFQ = 214, CP = 26
Maus near Freeport; May 24th, Ht = 23, PEAQ = 195, RFQ = 289, CP = 24
Frericks near Melrose; May 24th, Ht = 23, PEAQ = 195, RFQ = 162, CP = 21
Benton County – Scapanski near Sauk Rapids; May 24th, Ht = 26, PEAQ = 178, RFQ = 198, CP = 22
O&S Dairy near Rice; May 24th, Ht = 25, PEAQ = 176, RFQ = 171, CP = 20
Skroch near Rice; May 24th, Ht = 16, PEAQ = 239, RFQ = 235, CP = 23
Morrison County – Roerick near Upsala; May 20th, Ht = 23, PEAQ = 195, RFQ = 226, CP = 26
Kahl near Buckman; May 24th, Ht = 25, PEAQ = 183, RFQ = 209, CP = 22
Yellow Medicine – Goplen near Canby; May 24th, Ht = 22, PEAQ = 200, RFQ = 185, CP = 25
You can find more detailed reports at the UMN Extension Website by searching for “Minnesota Extension Crop News”, or by calling (320) 968-5081 if you are in Stearns, Benton, or Morrison counties. If you are outside that area call Extension Colleagues Colleen Carlson in Scott and Carver Counties, Emma Severns in Sibley County, the Meeker and McLeod County Extension office, and Adam Austing in Wright County for more information. You can also look at the compiled scissor cut information from 2010 at z.umn.edu/AlfalfaHarvestAlert.
Thanks to our sponsors including; Barry Visser and Jack Hales at Vita Plus, Total Agribusiness Services, Greg Lefebrve with Nelson Dairy Consultants, Anez Consulting of Little Falls, UFC, Sunrise Ag Cooperative – Buckman, Farmers and Merchants State Bank – Pierz, Dairyland Lab at Sauk Rapids, DHIA Laboratories at Sauk Centre, UMN Goplen Lab, KASM 1150 AM Albany, KTLF 960 AM Little Falls, WJON 1240 AM St. Cloud, WVAL 800 AM and 102.3 FM Sauk Rapids, St. Cloud, and the Central Minnesota Forage.
— Nathan Drewitz, University of Minnesota Extension
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