More rain last night & taking a crop of alfalfa in mid-September

I got 1.5 inches in my gauge when I checked it this morning, from yesterday & last night. Well we could have really used this rain 6 weeks ago for our soybean crop. But this rain will definitely help the wheat that has been planted recently and any fall seeded alfalfa. Someone asked me yesterday if they can take a crop of alfalfa now. The quick answer is I prefer that you don’t. If you need the feed then you will need to take a cutting, but if there is not a strong need or another crop at your operation it is a lot easier on the stand to leave it alone after September 1st. When you take a late cutting now, you are forcing that plant to use more energy above ground instead of storing up reserves for winter. If you do take a cutting please be sure that your potassium levels are adequate to help build up energy for the upcoming 6 months. I ran into a grower that was still seeding alfalfa yesterday. In my opinion it is getting a little late, but he said the seed he planted a few weeks ago is just coming up so this new batch will not be far behind.

– Rob Shields, Agronomist

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