Sep 19, 2014
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June Grass Growth Doubles May's Low Hay Production

June 19, 2014
Cutting Hay

Grass grows in June just like it should have in May, says Rob Kallenbach, University of Missouri Extension forage specialist.

Usually, pasture grasses grow best in May, but not this year. Cool weather slowed growth.

Haymaking came up short this year, Kallenbach says. But in June, with moisture and warmer weather, the grass grows 80 pounds dry matter per day per acre. That's up from 40 pounds or less in May.

June and May have reversed, Kallenbach said on a weekly MU Extension teleconference with area agronomists.

Craig Roberts, MU fescue specialist, said in some cases mowed hayfields didn't have enough leaves to rake to bale.

By mid-June most years, cool-season gasses go into a summer slump with arrival of hot, dry weather.

Pat Guinan, MU climatologist, sees more rain in the week ahead-and possibly longer. That should be good for forage and crop growth. Temperatures will continue to rise, reaching seasonal levels.

For people, humidity will increase discomfort levels.

After two sunny days, the forecast calls for rain over most of the state. Rainfall should average an inch or more in most areas.

Heavy rains, especially in northern Missouri, showed it could rain again, after a winterlong dry spell. "Subsoil moistures are low," Guinan says. "There isn't much reserve. Rains every week are needed for good pasture and crop growth."

A small area centered on Unionville in Putnam County on the Iowa state line had more than 13 inches of rain. However, not all areas got precipitation. Dry areas center on a line in the east central area from Moberly to Paris, Missouri.

Salem, Missouri, in the Ozarks, is a center for a dry area.

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