This year’s Alfalfa harvest got a rocky start but looks to end on a high note. The 3rd cutting harvest is wrapped up in the South Basin and the North Basin will soon follow. A few growers in the South Basin will take advantage of the warm weather we have had to take a 4th cutting. Some of the alfalfa from the North Basin was subjected to heavy dews early in the 3rd cutting harvest. Those bales show some light bleaching. The fields cut and baled during the warmer weeks should be a higher quality. The majority of the growers in the North Basin focused on harvesting for high tonnage instead of high quality. Because of this most of the hay, though a nice green color, will be a little over mature to make a premium grade. In addition, supplies of 3-tie 3rd cutting Alfalfa from the Basin will be limited. We will see much more big bale from that region.
Klamath Falls and Madras are heavy into 3rd cutting Alfalfa harvest. We could see harvesting activities in the area continue through late September and early October. Christmas Valley has just finished up their 2nd cutting and about a third will harvest a 3rd cutting of Alfalfa this year. Warmer temperatures are forecasted to continue and will allow for a good harvesting window in Oregon.
The Kittitas Valley and Columbia Basin are completing the 2nd cutting Timothy harvest and are busy baling the last of the fields. The quality from 2nd cutting Timothy has been good and we hope that the last fields will bale nicely. We could see some heavy dews with the temperatures dropping to the 50s overnight. Heavy dews could cause some problems with baling.
The Sudan harvest has also been going well. Kittitas Valley growers are more than halfway through the harvest. The quality is good and we are seeing a finer stem and lighter color than we did in last year’s Sudan harvest.