After a slow start to the year, farmers throughout the Columbia Basin were hard at work with the 1st cutting Timothy harvest last week. The last couple of weeks have brought the stable weather growers needed to start cutting their fields and baling their hay. Growers pushed through the weekend and many should complete the 1st cutting harvest by the end of this week.
A few farmers in the Kittitas Valley were able to begin their harvest last week, with more starting to swath through out the weekend. Timothy hay acreage and quality from the Kittitas Valley should be similar to the 2010 crop. That could change for 2nd cutting as some farmers plan to switch crop from Timothy to corn.
Across the Clolumbia Basin, growers were finishing up their 1st cutting Alfalfa hay harvest last week. The harvest is similar to the 2010 crop. Aproximately 20-25% of the 1st cutting Alfalfa from the Columbia Basin was baled without rain.
The early weather challenges are starting to clear up. Favorable weather patterns are holding giving growers fewer complications. We expect some of the growers in the Southern Basin to begin their 2nd cutting Alfalfa harvest later this week.
Oregon Alfalfa harvest is also progressing over the last couple of weeks. The outlook is good with only scattered rain forcasted for Tuesday. Over half of the Alfalfa fields have been cut in the Klamath Falls area and a quarter has been baled. Alfalfa harvest in Christmas Valley should begin within 3 weeks.