Hay supply looks pretty good for Wisconsin thanks to a great 2021 crop. But this spring’s drought means the first alfalfa cutting could yield less than years past, according to Emeritus Extension Forage Specialist Dan Undersander.
He explains March is when alfalfa develops its roots. Since March was awfully dry in Wisconsin this year, don’t expect a bumper first cutting.
For our neighbors to the West, drought is nothing unfamiliar. Minnesota and pockets of Wisconsin are seeing a low supply of hay. Undersander’s advice is to explore how you can extend that ration, either with other feed sources or by reducing the herd.
If you’re looking to buy hay now, don’t get cheated! Undersander offers some ‘buyer bewares.’ His first piece of advice: get hay tested at a forage lab, such as the UW Soil and Forage Lab: https://uwlab.soils.wisc.edu/
And be aware that hay from a different area can contain weeds, sometimes invasive. And finally, Undersander says to buy hay by the ton, and not the bale.