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May 2019 Forage Report

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Southwestern
  • Estimates suggest at least 50% of fields have some level of winterkill.
  • Cool conditions have slowed forage growth. First cut of dairy-quality hay usually begins on the Victoria Day weekend; however, less than 295 GDDs have accumulated outside Essex County. Alfalfa reaches early flower stage around 390 GDDs.
  • According to AAFC, Huron, Perth, Wellington, south Grey, Dufferin, and Simcoe counties have experienced average precipitation for May. The rest of the region received above-average precipitation.
  • Alfalfa weevil has been found in some fields. Producers should scout fields twice a week to monitor their development. Scouting information can be found on pages 339 and 340 of OMAFRA Pub. 811: Agronomy Guide for Field Crops.
  • Consider planting alternative forage crops to replace winterkilled alfalfa. Grain growers are starting to switch hybrids, so consider contacting your local seed supplier for full-season hybrids to grow as silage corn.
Central and Eastern
  • Estimates suggest over 80% of fields in the region have some level of winterkill, but only about 15% were bad enough to be taken out. Reports indicate winterkill is the worst east of Highway 416.
  • Cool conditions have slowed forage growth. First cut of dairy-quality hay usually begins on the Victoria Day weekend; however, less than 233 GDDs have accumulated in the region. Alfalfa reaches early flower stage around 390 GDDs.
  • According to AAFC, parts of Lanark, Ottawa, and Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry have experienced average precipitation for May. The rest of the region received above-average precipitation.
  • Consider planting alternative forage crops to replace winterkilled alfalfa. Grain growers are starting to switch hybrids, so consider contacting your local seed supplier for full-season hybrids to grow as silage corn.
Northeastern
  • While there seem to be normal levels of winterkill, due to the above-average snow over the winter, there are also some reports of forages in low-lying areas drowning out this spring.
  • Grasses are growing well, but cool weather has slowed legume growth.
  • According to AAFC, most of the region has experienced above-average precipitation for May. The exception is part of Cochrane District, which received 60-85% of normal rainfall.
Northwestern
  • Estimates suggest normal levels of winterkill in the region.
  • Grasses are growing well, but cool weather has slowed legume growth. At this stage first cut might be a week behind normal, but there is still time for heat to accumulate and change that.
  • According to AAFC, May rainfall has been variable throughout the region. Rainy River and Kenora Districts experienced below average precipitation, while Thunder Bay had average amounts of rainfall.

Source : Field Crop News