Yuma County, Arizona
May 19, 2003
Yuma County Office
Adding Moisture to Windrows: Producing high quality hay in hot, dry desert areas is a challenge due to leaf loss when raking or baling. Growers typically wait for dew to appear late at night or early in the morning. Leaf losses can range from 5 to 10% even under the best conditions, and can be as high as 20% or more if the leaves become too dry. Windrow moisture can be increased by irrigating closer to cutting or by applying moisture to the windrow. Moisture can be applied to windrows with equipment as simple as a water truck or with specially designed spraying equipment.
Insect Management: The granulate cutworm, Agrotis subterranea, (Fabricius) (picture), is a devastating pest of bed planted alfalfa and is also an occasional pest of flood irrigated alfalfa. The cutworm larvae often go undetected until after cutting or hay removal. When fields are watered back, there may be areas of little or no regrowth due to cutworms feeding on new shoots from alfalfa crowns. Granulate cutworm is nocturnal and will move from cracks in the soil or from under duff in the evening and climb into the alfalfa canopy to feed. Some of the cutworms feed on new shoots under the duff, holding back regrowth, depleting starch reserves in the crowns and thereby weaken the plants. Weakened plants are more susceptible to disease. Permethrin, cyfluthrin and endosulfan are insecticides that control this pest. Cutworms feeding under the duff may escape insecticide treatments.
Weed Control: The time has passed when the contact herbicides, Gramoxone and Buctril, can be safely applied to alfalfa. Hot, dry conditions, rapid crop regrowth and preharvest intervals make it difficult to use these safely here once day time temperatures exceed 80o F. They are also weak on grasses which are the predominant summer weeds.
10 Year Summary (May 6 - May 19, 1994-2003):
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Barry Tickes, email@example.com Extension Agent, Yuma County
Michael Ottman, firstname.lastname@example.org Agronomy Specialist
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University of California, Davis, CA.
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