Despite reports of widespread winterkill this spring, expected harvested acreage of alfalfa is up 370,000 acres over last year. That’s about a 2% increase, with 17.7 million acres of alfalfa expected to be cut this year.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service reports this week that improved weather "has supported significant cultivation and re-seeding" of alfalfa this spring. Growers are reporting they anticipate harvesting 230,000 more acres than they did in March.
Montana expects to harvest 350,000 more acres of alfalfa, and Idaho, 110,000 more acres. But those increases are offset by declines in Colorado, 100,000 acres; and 70,000 acre decreases in Nebraska and South Dakota.
Total acreage of other hay remains unchanged. Wisconsin’s hay acreage is expected to increase 100,000 acres, due in part to the opening of Conservation Reserve Program land for hay harvest.
You can read the full report here.