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.
The straw harvest is wrapping up in Oregon. Conditions have been extremely favorable over the last few weeks as growers finished baling Fescue and Perennial Rye Grass straw in the Willamette Valley. Problematic weather early in the straw season has affected Annual Rye and Orchard straw, almost all of which was rained on. The Perennial Rye harvest, however, escaped the rain for the most part.
Though grading on Orchard Grass, Perennial and Annual Rye should be straight forward, importers should be cautious when purchasing Fescue straw. About 30-40% of the Fescue straw harvest was rained on. With little high quality, non-rained on Fescue straw available on the market, some exporters will have very limited quantities. Be wary of rained on straw being sold as #1 grade.
Third cutting Alfalfa harvest is also coming to an end. The South Basin is about finished with baling and the North Basin is about half way finished. This years’ 3rd cutting harvest is showing nice quality and will add tonnage to #1 and Premium grade volumes. Some bleaching has been seen in a few Alfalfa fields due to heavy dews and warm daytime temperatures. Growers who got an early start on harvest (and estimated 60%) will attempt to take a 4th cutting of Alfalfa this year.
The warm temperatures are also a welcome sight as the Sudan harvest gets underway. With about a third of the fields cut and baled, the Sudan harvest is going well. The quality in the field is good and growers should put up quality Sudan.
Growers in the Columbia Basin are about a quarter of the way through 2nd cutting Timothy harvest. With favorable weather continuing as fields are cut and baled, harvest should go well through the next week or so.