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Freezing weather moves in on first cut alfalfa

Freezing temperatures are sweeping across regions of the country where the first cutting of alfalfa is underway. 

University of Minnesota Extension educator Nathan Drewitz says the hay harvest in central Minnesota really got going around May 21st, about a week ahead of below freezing temps.

He tells Brownfield alfalfa about to be cut won’t really be impacted, but stands that suffered winter injury are susceptible.

“Because we’re putting a lot of stress on those plants late in the season.”

Drewitz says growers who want to keep those stands around will probably have to inter-seed some grasses.

He does expect the late May cold-snap to impact the second cutting.

“And if you have a field that you’ve already cut, and the stand itself looks pretty good, the frost that we’re going to have isn’t going to be particularly of much concern at that point. You will want to keep an eye on some of those buds (and) it might set us back a little bit.”

Drewitz says the other issue right now, at least for growers in western Minnesota, is high populations of alfalfa weevil.

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