Early crop welcomed, Make hay while the sun shines

Hayfields along Yellowstone Trail south of Huntley dry in the sun Wednesday afternoon. First cutting came early in Yellowstone County this year with hay prices averaging about $140 per ton, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. (Jonathan McNiven photo)

Originally published in the Yellowstone County News print edition on 6/2/17.

HUNTLEY — Local growers are making hay while the sun shines.

Steve Lackman, Montana State University extension agent in Yellowstone County, said Tuesday that he’s surprised by how much first-cutting hay is on the ground.

“We’re a little ahead” for the first cutting, he said. Growers who want optimum feed value will cut alfalfa when about 15 to 20 percent of the plants are in bloom, he said, while those who want more tonnage “might let it go a little more.”

“We had a pretty decent spring” for hay production, he said. “I think we’re going to have an excellent hay crop, this first cutting anyway.”

Although the wet weather delayed… Read full story in print edition on 6/2/17.

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