With the big swing in temperatures during a 24 hour period in the South Columbia Basin, heavier dews have been falling on the Alfalfa fields. The early morning dews help with leaf retention. However, as the sun evaporates the dew, the Alfalfa is susceptible to bleaching. Gentle winds over the next week or so will help growers to put up a nice 4th cutting Alfalfa crop. A few growers in the North Basin will be working for a 4th cutting later on this week.
The 3rd cutting Alfalfa harvest was delayed in Klamath Falls and Christmas Valley last week as showers fell across the area. Oregon is also experiencing heavy dews which are causing some difficulties with harvest. About 30% of the fields were swathed and received rain. The remaining growers have begun swathing as the weather has stabilized this week. We do not expect many growers to try for a 4th Alfalfa cutting in Oregon this year.
Growers in the Kittitas Valley are about finished with the 2nd cutting Timothy harvest. The year has been successful even as heavier morning dews caused some harvest difficulties. Only limited supplies of premium grade Timothy will be available this year. Fortunately we should have a good supply of #1 from 2nd cutting.
The straw harvest was difficult for growers in Oregon this year. Though growers have finished for the year, they are still wary of committing their non-rained on volumes. Exporters are working hard to put together a good inventory for the year.