First-crop hay quality looks good in Wisconsin

A University Extension expert says there’s good news and bad news for the first crop of hay now being harvested in Wisconsin.

Richard Halopka is based in Clark County. He says, ”What I’m seeing being harvested right now today is low on quantity but high on quality.”

Halopka tells Brownfield it’s been very dry, but having excess moisture in the topsoil and subsoil about three weeks ago has helped the hay crop. “Those grass forages and the alfalfa, the legumes, probably have got enough adequate water right now. I think if we get a shot of rain this week here, it would be beneficial.”

And he says most farmers with a grass and alfalfa mixture will be harvesting soon because the grass matures faster than the alfalfa. “The grasses are starting to head, so we’re at that point where the quality is going to decline much quicker because of that grass maturing ahead of that alfalfa right now.”

Halopka says most farmers he has worked with say they’re concerned about smaller yields, but most have a stockpile of forage from last year.

Halopka’s Upper Midwest Hay Market Report can be found online here.

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