Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,199

    Default Midwest Alfalfa this year?

    I saw a local news segment that said that the Alfalfa crop is a bust this year - too wet and chilly - and that farmers are expecting to only get 2 cuts instead of 4. It also said that some of the crop is dead.

    I know from reading here that sometimes a delay in cutting is a good thing from a beekeepers perspective as the bees get longer to access the bloom. This year seems different. What are you seeing out there?

    Skip to the 50 second mark if you're curious about what I saw on the news.
    http://www.kare11.com/news/article/1...mers-uncertain

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,864

    Default Re: Midwest Alfalfa this year?

    I know there is an alfalfa field right near one of my beeyards that looked dead to me the other day when I drove by, like dead brown. It did look recently cut to me though, so I don't know what's going on. Would they have sprayed it with Roundup or something? John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,265

    Default Re: Midwest Alfalfa this year?

    they may spray it if it had been producing for 5 years and the % of alfalfa was declining.
    First cutting for alfalfa in MIGHAGAN is usually around the 2nd way of may, with second cutting in mid June. But it usually when cut it only has a brownish appearance for a day or so, then begins to green up. although alfalfa is fairly drought resistant it drowns out fairly easily. but does not generally turm brown when drowned out.

    If the bees can fly while the alfalfa is in bloom it will help the honey. Usually farmers cannot harvest alfalfa because of rain,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,864

    Default Re: Midwest Alfalfa this year?

    Tenbears, like you say the field may have been declining and they are going to replant it, just hope they put alfalfa back as it was a huge field and only 1/4 mile from my hives, last year the farmer let it bloom most the year and my bees did real well on it. John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    686

    Default Re: Midwest Alfalfa this year?

    The 40 acres my hives are sitting on can't be irrigated this year due to drought. The 40 across the road can't be irrigated either, we both got notices no pumping would be done in 2013. An interesting side note, our 40 was cut 4 weeks ago and the weather got so hot so fast that the heat stressed the alfalfa so badly that most of the field is now blooming while it is 3" to 6" tall. It looks like every bee from every one of my hives is in the field and you can literally hear the buzzing from the bees 100 feet away. The field across the road was cut 2 weeks ago and it is pretty much already dead. Everyone here cuts alfalfa late bud/early bloom.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
    Facebook

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,392

    Default Re: Midwest Alfalfa this year?

    Here in CA where I keep my bees the alfalfa is irrigated, so about 7 cuttings a year. This year the farmer is letting the fields go an extra two weeks before cutting as he is selling his hay across sea's so he wants tonage and not the nutrient value for traditional dairy sales. Lots of blue around the valley! Not a bad deal at all for the beekeepers is the area!!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,971

    Default Re: Midwest Alfalfa this year?

    A lovely smell comes from those blue/purple fields when the flow is right.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,698

    Default Re: Midwest Alfalfa this year?

    I can not speculate as to what the alfalfa will do, but I will wager that the farmers will cut it quickly do to the shortages from last year.

    Crazy Roland

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,439

    Default Re: Midwest Alfalfa this year?

    A field out this way was cut almost two weeks ago now. I'm sure it was cut before bloom.
    Regards, Barry

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,374

    Default Re: Midwest Alfalfa this year?

    Wet conditions and the usual weevil infestations have slowed alfalfa harvest out this way and we have seen some nice production out of the early alfalfa bloom already which is kind of unusual on first cutting. I quit stressing years ago about seeing a field going down, I just look at it as the start of the second bloom (I'm a glass half full kind of guy). One good blast of heat and you have a nice short bloom in no time, but I am glad when I see a farmer getting a good cutting of hay, in the big picture whats good for the hay grower is good for us.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,175

    Default Re: Midwest Alfalfa this year?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I quit stressing years ago (I'm a glass half full kind of guy) One good blast and you have a nice in no time.
    lol... too much time on my hands.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads