Rain, wind, hail, and unavoidable harvest delays have led to lodged and flat hayfields across the state. This is not usually a concern in more normal seasons, but if it occurs, producers have to manage for and around it. A ‘bright side’ of delayed harvest is that the forage plants have longer to accumulate carbohydrate ‘stores’ and maintain plant vigor. Just because hay lodges, does not mean that it will ‘smother itself.’ New alfalfa and grass shoots that will become the second growth will emerge through the older, lodged first growth. However, harvesting this combined first and partial second growth will interrupt the development of the second growth and likely slow its eventual regrowth. So, there may be a slightly longer interval between your first and second cuts this year.
Iowa State University
Barnhart, Stephen K. and Hanna, H. Mark, "Hayfield Lodging – Management Concerns and Guidelines" (2008). Integrated Crop Management News. 916.
The Iowa State University Digital Repository provides access to Integrated Crop Management News for historical purposes only. Users are hereby notified that the content may be inaccurate, out of date, incomplete and/or may not meet the needs and requirements of the user. Users should make their own assessment of the information and whether it is suitable for their intended purpose. For current information on integrated crop management from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, please visit https://crops.extension.iastate.edu/.