I'm sure you have heard the phrase about making hay when the sun shines, and that is exactly where we are this year. The unusually dry and warm April may have caused most of the cool season grasses like orchardgrass to be shorter than normal. Now, with May coming to a close, most of the hay fields that I have seen have several seed heads on the orchardgrass, and it's not very tall or thick.
Some could blame the low yield on low use of fertilizer over the last few years due to higher prices. The price of fertilizer is not near as high as it was a couple of years ago, but in some cases people have used less fertilizer and it could be catching up. Even if this is the case in some fields, I have yet to see hardly any fields that appear to be normal for this time of the year, when it comes to yield.
So, there is not lots of hay in the field, now what do you do? I am sure there are several schools of thought on this, but here is one to think about. First of all, once that plant goes to producing seed, that is what it puts nearly all of its energy into, so additional growth is not there. That plant is finished growing and is maturing by producing the seed. Unless you are planning on harvesting seed, why wait?
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