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.
The South Basin has finished their 2nd cutting harvest. Some growers will begin 3rd cutting in the next few weeks. Those that can get an early start on 3rd cutting Alfalfa harvest will try to get a 4th cutting in this summer. Growers that have to get a later start will be done with their harvest activities after 3rd cutting.
We are looking forward to some nice hay coming from the Klamath Falls and Madras area of Oregon. Growers began their 2nd cutting last week and the weather has provided sunshine and warm temperatures. As the weather pattern is expected to hold, growers are hopeful that the 2nd cutting will produce green, quality hay. Christmas Valley continues to lag behind schedule leading to difficult choices among growers. About 70% will only be able to get two cuttings out of their fields this year. The other 30% are hoping for warm and dry weather to continue into late summer so that they can take a 3rd cutting.
Buyers are aggressively pursuing the best Alfalfa hay available. Demand is high in the Western United States, more so than in previous years. We are moving to secure quality hay for our customers.