The May 11 North Central Kansas Alfalfa Field Day has been canceled. The reason: plant damage from recent cold weather. "The hay was damaged so much and has been slow to come back," says Roger Barrett, field day host. "In this area we have lost the entire first cutting. Our first cutting usually comes around May 10, and this year we won't be able to cut until after June 1. That's a pretty substantial economic loss." Barrett, a crop consultant for Farmway Co-op, Inc., Beloit, says the freeze will cost producers $200-250/acre. He scouts hay fields covering more than 15,000 acres and says the damage extends from north-central Kansas all the way to Oklahoma City.
Severe alfalfa weevil pressure isn't helping. "Last week was the first week we got any regrowth in about two weeks, and then the weevils were eating it off as fast as it was growing," Barrett says. Before the freeze, alfalfa was about two weeks ahead of schedule, and plants were close to the bud stage in many areas.
Contact Barrett at 785-569-7124.