University of Arizona a dot Cooperative Extension

Alfalfa Report
Yuma County, Arizona
February 26, 2001

Yuma County Office
2200 W. 28th Street, Ste. 102
Yuma, AZ 85364
(520) 726-3904
(520) 726-8472 FAX

Production Update:
PDF version, 14KB

Bale Size: Three wire bales of about 120 pounds have been the standard bale size in Arizona for years. During the 1970's, large 1 ton bales were introduced to the state but quickly obtained a bad reputation due to barn fires with these bales. The larger bales required lower moisture content for safe storage. Big bales are currently making a comeback due to ease of handling in total mixed ration feeding. Big bales require a shorter period of time per ton than small bales to break open and remove the twine. Current models of the big balers are different than their predecessors in the 70s since they do not constantly pack the hay but a packing stroke is engaged only when the chamber has a certain amount of hay in it. This feature produces a bale that is less likely to spontaneously combust.

Insect Management: Cowpea aphid is a warm weather pest found on several crops and weeds. In the western United States, cowpea aphid has emerged as a cool season pest of alfalfa. When rapidly growing cowpea aphid populations threaten alfalfa fields, treatment with an insecticide may be warranted. However, treatment thresholds have not been established for cowpea aphid on alfalfa. Cowpea aphid is attacked by several predators (bigeyed bugs, damsel bugs, lacewings, lady beetles, and syrphid fly larvae) and parasites. Aphid parasites, Lysiphlebus sp. And Diaraetiella sp., have been reared from cowpea aphid mummies collected from both the high and low desert. Many alfalfa fields not sprayed with insecticides are now nearly free of cowpea aphid due to buildup of sevenspotted lady beetle, Coccinella septempunctata and aphid parasites.

Weed Control: Applications of EPTAM for the suppression of nutsedge and bermudagrass should be started now and should be repeated throughout the summer. This treatment will reduce but not eliminate these difficult perennials.

Market Summary
Off grade
Past 2 Weeks (Feb. 12 to Feb. 26, 2001)
Last Year (Feb. 12 to Feb. 26, 2000)


10 Year Summary (February 12, to February 26, 1992-2001):

Graph of dollars per ton from February 12, to February 26, 1992-2001

Full Disclaimers

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, James A. Christenson, Director Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Arizona.

The University of Arizona is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation in its programs and activities.

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Information provided by:
Barry Tickes, Extension Agent, Yuma County
Michael Ottman, Agronomy Specialist
College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona.
Eric Natwick, UCCE Imperial County - Farm Advisor
University of California, Davis, CA.

Material written February 26, 2001.

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