Aug. 11, 2015 08:00 AM

Visits to Idaho, Texas and Nebraska

By Glenn Shewmaker
Extension Forage Specialist
University of Idaho

There has been a mixed bag for the ability to put up hay in Idaho. Thundershowers have hit some areas hard, but many areas only have had enough rain to delay harvest a couple of days. Some baler operators ran about 72 hours straight to beat the forecasted thunderstorms; at the least, rain delays have allowed many to catch-up on needed rest! Some dryland producers were able to harvest a second cutting, which is unusual when you only get from 12 to 16 inches of precipitation in a normal year.

A large band of moisture is moving through Nevada into Idaho that will further delay harvest. Yet with drought declarations, we should not complain about the rain!

By Vanessa Corriher-Olson
Forage Extension Specialist
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

After a wet spring/early summer, a majority of Texas is now hot and dry. The dry weather has been favorable for grain harvesting but not for continued forage production. Following a late hay harvest (due to prolonged wet conditions), forage growth has slowed with high temperatures and dry conditions. The Pan Handle has received rainfall to support additional hay production. Hay in other parts of the state has slowed. First cuttings were late, creating large numbers of bales harvested but a lower quality product. Most producers were unable to fertilize due to early rainfall. Weed control has been challenging due to delayed spraying opportunities. Insect pest issues currently include grasshoppers, bermudagrass stem maggot and sugarcane aphid. Continued hot and dry conditions are anticipated for the remainder of the summer and into the fall.

By Barb Kinnan

Executive Director

Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association

Late July brought more spotty rains and high humidity but producers have been able to get back to a more "normal" cutting schedule. There have been some windows that have allowed for better quality hay to be harvested, and widespread rains have occurred that should enhance third and fourth cutting on dryland acres. Temperatures averaged near normal. According to USDA-NASS crop reports, alfalfa condition is currently rated 33 percent Very Poor to Fair and 67 percent Good to Excellent. Alfalfa second cutting is at 88 percent complete, behind 93 percent for both last year and the five-year average. Third cutting was at 32 percent complete, behind 45 percent from last year, but near the 35 percent average. Pasture and range conditions rated 31 percent Very Poor to Fair and 69 Good to Excellent.