Central Oregon growers experienced a cool, frosty spring, followed by high summer temperatures the end of June and into July. "It's been a very good year for harvesting hay in central Oregon," says Mylen Bohle, central Oregon extension agronomist at Prineville. "We've had very little rain, which is good and bad." Two rains in June caused problems for producers putting up hay. Three weeks of hot temperatures in July slowed production. A light rain the weekend of Aug. 18-20 caught some producers with a fair amount of hay down, and many others were kept from harvesting cereal and grass seed.

"Hay prices are way up, as are a lot of commodities, which is good for hay producers but a bit hard on the livestock folks," Bohle says. With increased fertilizer and fuel costs, higher hay prices have helped hay producers immensely.

Most growers in irrigation districts have had enough irrigation water. Those on creek flows, however, had to stop irrigating the first to mid-part of August or had been cut back. Growers who kept alfalfa watered had very good second- and third-cutting yields, says Bohle. Grass yields may be down because of last spring's cold/freezing weather and a hot summer. Clover and winter grain mites and Banks grass mites were a problem in some fields. Banks grass mite, new to central Oregon, was discovered in early summer.

Depending on the elevation, the second grass hay cutting is coming to an end in some areas, while the third cutting is winding down in others.

Contact Bohle at 541-447-6228.

South Carolina
"We are extremely dry in Upstate South Carolina," reports John Andrae, Clemson University forage crop specialist. "Most pastures are crispy. Many producers are feeding hay and the smart ones have weaned early and culled less-productive cows." Scattered showers in southern areas of the state have helped many growers there, he says. Hay stores are low everywhere in South Carolina. "We're counting on a good fall to get fescue growth and overseeded pastures to kick in."

Contact Andrae at 864-656-3504.