May 2017 Delayed Cropping

Over the last 15 years of my research, it has been consistent that winter forage is ready (stage 9 – flag leaf stage) a day or so before straight grass fields are at optimum. We mow the triticale and continue mowing the cool season grasses. Then we move to the grass alfalfa mixes and finally finish with the straight alfalfa. All high quality at harvest. That is the theory, now the weather.

Last year our eastern New York triticale was at stage 9 on May 13. As of May 1, we were running 13% ahead of last year in growing degree days and so the harvest was targeted to come slightly earlier. Then a major mass of cool to cold weather with tremendous down-pours rolled across the upper half of US from Minne-sota all the way to New England dumping considerable moisture along the way.

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