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‘Hay Day’ came early, but haying came late

Green Gold program issues final report for 2016

This year’s hay crop got off to an early start, but you can’t say the same for hay harvest.

The Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association last week issued the final report for the Green Gold program, which tracks progress of the province’s alfalfa crop. Participating producers submit twice-weekly samples for testing of relative feed value (RFV), and the MFGA declares ‘Hay Day’ when RFV reaches the optimum of 150.

Crop progress is reported twice weekly by email and through media, including the Co-operator website and daily newsletter.

The MFGA report said Hay Day was about a week earlier than average this year, arriving on May 30 in the eastern region, June 2 in the central region and June 1 in the western/Interlake region. The crop averaged 25 inches in height by Hay Day and by the end of testing, most fields were in the late-bud stage or starting to flower.

However, “Rain in early June delayed the first cut across the province until June 6 into the third week of June. Most of the alfalfa harvest was limited to silage production with only two to three days without rain at a time. Dry hay harvest has been difficult to impossible,” the report said.

For more information on the program, visit mfga.net/green-gold-program/.

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