It appears that alfalfa fields in southeastern Manitoba did not mind our wet spring.
Laingspring Farm, located northeast of Steinbach, is a dairy farm that grows both forage and corn. Tyrone Laing says they will cut about 400 acres and started June 15th. As of Tuesday, they are about half done with the first cut and Laing says yields are looking very good.
"We haven't seen yields like this in a handful of years," notes Laing. "It's been dry the last three to five years."
But, he notes it is pretty wet on their fields. He says they are dealing with a lot of moisture and are having to navigate around wet spots. In fact, Laing says if you are noticing some uncut patches on their fields, that is because there is literally standing water.
"Other than a little bit of muddy conditions that we have to deal with, that's not really a complaint because we have a lot more feed than we've had the past few years," he adds.
As for the quality of the hay crop being harvested, Laing says it is too early to tell. He suggests that due to all of the moisture as well as the late heat, quality might actually be down from the last couple of years and there might end up being more fiber. But, Laing says different growing conditions can provide different feeds and he says they will have a better idea of quality once it gets tested a few weeks from now.
This year's first cut started about one week later than normal, according to Laing. He notes the delay was really the result of all the moisture. But, he says it is not a big deal.
Laing says they typically begin the second cut about 35 days after the start of the first cut, which means the second cut will commence around July 20th. Even with all of the moisture in the ground, Laing says they will need a couple more rains between now and then in order to make the crop as healthy as it is now.