Alfalfa over-winters well in Ontario; some damage
By Joel Bagg OMAFRA
May 5, 2015 - Alfalfa has generally over-wintered very well, but there are scattered reports from across the province of some winterkill and winter injury. The normally higher risk area of the Ottawa Valley seems to have minimal (less than 10 per cent) winterkill issues.
Winter injury is observed more commonly in older stands, fall harvested stands, and stands with poor drainage or low fertility and pH issues. Many fields harvested last fall are showing delayed green-up and growth this spring. Cool spring weather delayed forage crop growth and development, but this is changing quickly with warmer weather. New seedings were initially delayed slightly, but many acres went in late-April and continue to be seeded in early-May under excellent soil conditions.
Acres of new forage seedings appear to be up.
Spring carryover forage inventories are good to adequate in most areas. Demand and prices are very strong for premium hay – properly stored square bales, green, with no dust or mould. With the continued reduced wheat acreage, straw prices are at record highs, with western Canada sourced straw coming in putting a ceiling on price.