September 26, 2021

Excess rain causes delay in hay cuttings

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. — Thoughts that parts of Indiana might suffer from drought because of the hot, dry weather that occurred at the beginning of summer quickly disappeared three weeks ago when heavy rainfall events began.

Chris Parker, a retired Purdue Extension agricultural and natural resources educator in Morgan County, said a lot of regions in Indiana have been experiencing super-wet pasture and field conditions due to large amounts of rain that have been falling the last few weeks.

Parker said that in south-central Indiana, where he lives, many farmers haven’t been able to get into hayfields yet for the first cutting, even though this is the time of year when second cuttings should be taking place.

When farmers can get in the field, they should be able to get an excellent hay yield, but due to the forages being in the field too long, the quality of the hay will not be very high, Parker said.

“The first cut of hay is way over mature,” he said, adding that there will not be as much high-quality hay available throughout the state, but that could change in late-July and August if the rain stops.

While it may not be high quality, farmers still need to get into fields to make the first hay cut in hopes of having a better second cut, Parker said.

Ashley Estes

Ashley Estes

Field Editor