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With good weather conditions across the Pacific North West, harvest activities are going well. Warmer temperatures and dry weather has been a welcome sight for growers.
Earlier this month the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its annual hay report. The contents of the publication stunned many in the hay industry. Though widely accepted that hay supplies would be stressed this year, the estimates for loss of hay acreage and tonnage are much higher than expected. It appears that 2011 hay production will not only be lower than 2010, but carry over into May 2012 will also be shorter than last year.
This is part IV in an educational blog series published by Anderson Hay. Read Part I, “Going Global: The History of The Leading U.S. Hay Exporter”, Part II, “Going Global: Overcoming Obstacles Exporting Timothy Hay” and Part III,"Going Global: Coping with a Tiny Pest" on the Race Horse and Timothy Hay Blog.
The 2nd cutting Timothy harvest will begin this week, starting in the South Basin and moving North in the next week or two followed shortly by the Kittitas Valley. The weather has been consistent over the last month. Because of this the Timothy looks outstanding. We should see better quality from 2011's 2nd cutting Timothy hay than we did in 2010.
The weather has turned across our growing areas in the Pacific North West and many are finally experiencing long stretches of dry and warm weather. Growers in the Kittitas Valley are keeping the new 2nd cutting Timothy crop well irrigated as it grows in this drying weather. The warm and windy conditions make having an experienced grower base vital to harvesting a good 2nd cutting crop.
With 2nd cutting Alfalfa harvest wrapping up in the Columbia River Basin, the effects of the wet and cold weather this summer is showing in the quality. Over half of the 2nd cutting from the North Basin revieved rain. The damage is reflecting in the grades and very little Premium Alfalfa will be available from 2nd cutting. As the later summer weather stabalizes and warms up, we expect greener hay to be harvested.
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