The Washington Times-Herald

Breaking News

Community

June 10, 2014

Weather plays havoc with hay harvest

It is probably not possible to have perfect weather here in Indiana. Like most have heard, “if you don’t like Indiana weather, wait five minutes and it will change.”

The weather that is good for one person or situation is most likely not good for another. Wet springs and dry summers are starting to feel somewhat normal but very hard to adjust to. Forages started off slow, but with more than adequate rainfall and some heat units they exploded overnight!

It is raining as I write this. I had aimed to cut some hay last weekend on a piece of land that can’t be grazed but was quickly stopped by pop-up storms. Hay fields will just have to wait for a better day, at least moisture wise. The worse thing is watching quality slowly decrease as the plants mature. Most of our cool season grasses are the best quality for the quantity when cut by early boot stage. That early boot stage is from stem elongation to very early seed head formation; you can’t see the seed head much. Just past that is early seed head formation to milk stage. The seed heads have a slightly white, liquidity substance to them if pinched. Animals often like to eat the seed heads in this milk stage up to dough stage, probably because the plant is putting energy there for seed production. Sadly, that redirected energy starts lowering plant quality. This downhill slide in quality continues as the grass finishes maturing.

Unfortunely, it is often at this “dry seed head” stage that a lot of hay is cut. This is especially true if you are also a row crop farmer whose first priority is getting the corn and soybeans planted. Rain, timely or ill-timed as it might be, makes all of this even more challenging. If it is too wet to be in the fields, then it is too wet to be trying to make dry hay. I know of one individual who doesn’t worry about getting it cut prior to dry seed head and is convinced that regrowth and new growth in the understory eventually makes up the difference in quality. I’ve not found this to be totally true. Eventually, forage quality increases after maturity because of secondary growth, but it does not come close to its original potential and overall yield is also reduced.

Text Only
Community
  • 4Hgc08 4-H Champions 4-H Grand Champions from the recent Daviess County 4-H fair. More photos will be published both online and in upcoming editions.

    July 22, 2014 6 Photos

  • Ways to Help Others American Red CrossAssists Daviess County families recovering from disasters such as fire, flooding, and tornado damage. For more information, call 812-254-9877 or email mary.bechtel@redcross.orgStill Waters Restoration CenterShelter for single mother

    July 19, 2014

  • ChampionBean.jpg Champion, Bean celebrates engangement Rebecca Anne Champion and Seth David Lloyd Bean, along with their families, are pleased to announce their upcoming marriage on Aug. 17 at Camp Illiana.Rebecca is the daughter of Patrick and Terry Champion of Mineral, Virginia. She is a 2011 graduate

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • GardenClub.jpg Brummett's garden named garden of the month If one can imagine sitting around a cozy fire with the warmth on your hands and face on a cool summer night then one might be sitting next to the fire pit in the yard of Ralph and Cheryl Brummett at 1416 W. Walnut St.This yard shows their whimsical s

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Recent real estate transactions Seth Price, Luke Price, John Price, and Sally Price to John Mark Lawyer, NW ¼ of NE ¼ S29, T3N, R6W.Larry Kemp and Norma Kemp to Dennis Miller and Roseanna Miller, pt. NW ¼ of SE ¼ S21, T4N, R5W.Eva F. Lynn Estate to David P. Lynn, pt. NW ¼ of NW ¼ S

    July 19, 2014

  • Local Birth Notices Nova KempJune 23, 2014Verlin and Malinda Kemp of Elnora announce the birth of their daughter, Nova Brooke Kemp.She was born at 9:04 p.m. June 23 at Good Samaritan Hospital. She weighed 7 lbs. and was 21 1/2 inches long.Grandparents are Amos and Kathe

    July 19, 2014

  • 4hGroup01 Early 4-H winners Here are some early winners at the Daviess County 4-H Fair.

    July 18, 2014 9 Photos

  • Friday's Area Briefs Feed My Sheep on SaturdayFeed My Sheep will distribute groceries from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at 601 W. Oak St. There will be no admittance to the building until 9 a.m. and the doors will be locked at 1 p.m. Groceries will be distributed at the Odo

    July 18, 2014

  • Red Cross blood drive scheduled for August The American Red Cross encourages all eligible blood donors to make an appointment to donate blood soon to help prevent a shortage. During the summer months, on average, about two fewer donors give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what is nee

    July 18, 2014

  • Capture.JPG MAP: Local Yard Sales

    Here are the yard sales for this weekend. To get your yard sale on future maps, call 812-254-0480, ext. 112.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo