In Oregon, the Willamette Valley has finished up the grass straw harvest. We have seen some high quality straw produced in this region. The weather conditions this year have been very good for producing good straw of every variety. Our predictions that yields would be down for grass straw have proven to be accurate. Although annual ry grass tonnage is up and a large amount of wheat straw has been harvested, yields on fescue and rye grass are down about 10% over last year. The Willamette Valley has seen an early return of wet weather this summer. The majority of the straw has been safely moved into barns in anticipation of the shift in weather.
In Washington, the Columbia Basin growers began 2nd Cutting Timothy harvest last week. With rain in the forecast, most growers waited to restart harvest for a week. In the Kittitas Valley, the 2nd Cutting Timothy Harvest also began week on some of the fields that were harvested early during 1st cutting. With rain delays in abundance during 1st cutting harvests, we will see the 2nd cutting harvest spread out more than usual as the later fields require additional growth.
Across the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and Pacific Southwest (PSW), weather continues to affect the quality of the Alfalfa harvests. In the PNW, the Columbia Basin of Washington, 3rd Cutting Alfalfa harvest has experienced humid weather and some heavier dews which has had an impact on the quality of 3rd cutting Alfalfa in parts of the Columbia Basin this last week. Growers are working to minimize the bleaching that these conditions have produced. In Klamath Falls, Oregon 3rd cutting Alfalfa harvest began this week. In the PSW, hot summer weather continues in most of the Southwest United States. Depending on the elevation and harvest conditions, quality is variable across a very wide region and will remain so until cooler fall weather arrives.