The second cutting of alfalfa is under way in much of Washington, but recent rain has caused some decline in quality, says Chep Gauntt, a Pasco, WA, grower.

“It did damage equivalent to a lot of heavy dews. But there’s not been a lot put up yet,” says Gauntt, who, with his son, Drex, harvests 1,300 acres of alfalfa and timothy. About 90-95% of their center-pivot-irrigated crop is exported.

As second cutting progresses, the price for “really nice, double-compressed bales … might be $240-250/ton,” he estimates.

Alfalfa and timothy prices in the Columbia Basin have been steady, with good demand and light to moderate supplies available, according to the July 3 USDA Market News report.

Alfalfa large-square bale prices were, for supreme quality, $260-270/ton; for premium, $260/ton; good quality, $240-245/ton; and fair quality, $220/ton.

Large squares of timothy grass were priced at $270-280/ton for premium quality and $260-270/ton for good quality. Small squares of premium timothy traded at $280/ton. Small squares of premium orchardgrass sold for $260-275/ton.

To contact the Gauntts, email gaunttfarm@charter.net or call 509-521-4245.