Producers usually experience some winterkill in alfalfa every spring, and 2015 is no exception.
North Dakota State University researcher Marisol Berti recently reported winterkill from Wisconsin to North Dakota, especially in stands 3 years or older. Newer stands usually are more winter hardy unless soil heaving occurred.
Cold temperatures and lack of snow cover are the two issues concerning South Dakota alfalfa growers as they consider their 2014 crop. Their worries might be for naught, says Karla Hernandez, South Dakota State University Extension forages field specialist.
On a normal mid-June day in the Upper Midwest, many farmers apply chemicals to their crops or take a first cutting of alfalfa.
But a recent Agweek trip through parts of Benson, Pierce and Bottineau counties in north-central North Dakota didn’t take place on a normal mid-June day. The day of the trip provided the worst possible weather to spray crops or cut alfalfa: rain clouds filled the sky, temperatures fell south of 50 degrees and a stiff, cold wind shook even the stoutest evergreens in shelterbelts.
Area farmers welcomed the mild winter and early spring that allowed them to make rapid planting progress. But the favorable weather carries a downside: weed and insect problems not encountered in a typical growing season are popping up, and the arrival of normal weed and insect issues is accelerated.
DAVIS, Calif. — Roundup-Ready alfalfa was re-released in early 2011 after a lengthy review by USDA-APHIS, but has remained somewhat controversial in the public sphere. However, alfalfa hay growers often have been left out of this discussion.
DICKINSON, N.D. — The Dakota Resource Council in North Dakota has joined a March 18 lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco challenging the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to allow unrestricted planting of Roundup Ready alfalfa.
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