Two weeks of intermittent rains have delayed alfalfa harvest for many producers. As of Sunday, May 29, first cutting had been taken on 31% of the state's alfalfa crop, ahead of last year's 19% and the five-year average of 27%. If you weren't one of the lucky growers who got theirs cut and put up before more more rains came, you may want to consider adjusting your cutting height.
Potato leafhoppers have been reported in alfalfa in southeastern and northeastern Nebraska. This is somewhat earlier than usual and growers should be alert to potential damage and protecting their alfalfa where numbers indicate treatment thresholds would be met.
With all the rain we've had this spring, pastures may have excess grass growth that can be like money in the bank if used efficiently. For good quality hay and better regrowth potential, cut as seedheads are about to emerge.
Ragweed has exploded in some pastures in recent years. It takes time, and a well-planned approach such as described here to control ragweed in pastures. With good grazing, some spraying, and timely shredding it can be done.
First cutting often is the most important cutting of the year. It usually produces the most yield and its forage quality changes fastest from day to day. Alfalfa started growing like gangbusters this spring, is almost knee high in some places, and could be ready to cut soon.