The weather continues to challange growers throughout the Pacific North West (PNW). The cold temperatures and scattered rain showers in the PNW have delayed harvest across the area. A window of sunny weather is headed through the Kittitas Valley and Columbia River Basin this weekend providing the much needed higher temperatures and dry skys. Growers hope to see the window of sunshine and warm weather they've been awaiting.
Some alfalfa growers in the southern basin harvested 1st cutting this week. Cooler weather prevailed and some rain moved through the area, falling on some of the swathed alfalfa. This hay will most likely not hit the export market as most has already been sold to domestic dairy farms or green chopped.
With weather conditions looking up, growers are anxious to begin 1st cutting this week. If harvest goes according to the current plan, we expect to have 1st cutting PNW alfalfa available at the end of June.
Though the timothy hay harvest has also been delayed, we expect the quality to be high. The fields are looking good and are green. The timothy has grown well under the cooler conditions without overmaturing. We are hoping these growing conditions will lead to higher yields.
Very little straw has carried over from last year and straw harvest will not begin for many weeks.The weather in Oregon remains unstable and grass growth is slow. Growers may begin annual rye harvest in mid-July.
Overall this harvest season has been quite delayed but we expect to see some good movement in the fields as the weather warms up and drys out. Keep checking back for the latest harvest news.