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Frost on the Pumpkins this Morning, May 14

Frost on the Pumpkins....

The morning started with a nice white coating of frost across our farm.  The forecast for morning temperatures over the next few days sound like we will see frost every morning until this weekend.  The good news, the rain passed by and the sun is shining. Alfalfa fields are greening up and many stands look pretty good around the area.  However, there are some dead spots in fields, perhaps where water stood or ice ponds formed, but these are small. We just need some warm weather to push some growth of a very needed forage crop.

Having said this, there are reports of winter injury from areas west of Rochester. The potential issues: 1) snow blew off the fields, exposing crowns to bitter cold winter temperatures, 2) if the last cutting was taken in September, the plants would have gone into the long winter with lower than desirable root reserves, and 3) perhaps a late cutting left shorter than desirable residue, thus reducing the plants ability to hold the precious snow.  If you are seeing fields like that, evaluate the stand, dig some roots and assess the stand.   Here is a good resource to help you evaluate the stand: Alfalfa stand assessment: Is this stand good enough to keep? 
http://z.umn.edu/lzg


More forage resources are located at:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/forages/
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