by Luke Daninger –


Gregg Gustine and I spent time doing a tour of Southern Minnesota and Western Wisconsin on alfalfa. North to south, and east to west, the same trends repeated themselves. Below is a synopsis and I included some pictures on what to look for if you happen to be in fields with producers. We are finding that this is a farm by farm evaluation and all comes back to each producer’s management practices. In general, older stands are hit harder than younger stands.

The Good: The fields that were fertilized 2x last year (especially the August potash app) PLUS left 10 inches or more stubble look good overall. Along with that, almost all of the new seeding from 2018 looks good.

The Bad: If either August fertilizer was skipped, or the hay was cut late (into September), there seems to be a lot higher instance of winterkill, progressed crown rot, or in some spots, the plants just are dead and starting to rot. The lack of stubble (8” or less) seems to be a very consistent indicator. Some of these fields can be kept for a season, some cannot.

The Ugly: Fields that were cut late with minimal stubble left and were not fertilized properly are mostly dead. There has also been some heaving observed from repeated freeze thaw combined with excessive moisture.


Please let any of us know if you have questions.


Luke Daninger

Senior Crop Advisor