The latest report from the Imperial Irrigation District shows there were 95,002 alfalfa hay acres in the Imperial Valley on July 13, 2016. This is 3 percent lower than the 98,011 at the same time last year. Alfalfa seed acres in the Imperial Valley were at 39,409, up 50 percent from the 26,314 acres last year. This was a record number of alfalfa seed acres in the Imperial Valley with the last record set in 2009 at 32,325 acres.
Growers in the Imperial Valley took more alfalfa hay acres to seed to avoid what was expected to be a depressed alfalfa hay market on summer cuttings. In the Palo Verde Valley (Blythe, Calif.) area, alfalfa hay acres on July 18, 2016, totaled 45,488, down 13 percent from the same period last year, according to the Palo Verde Irrigation District. Growers reduced alfalfa hay acres by 7,000 to meet a water call by the Metropolitan Water District of Los Angeles under a long-term contract.