Last June I wrote about the weed called Yellow Rattle and how it was a plague in my hayfield. I had to bushhog and lose the first crop of hay last year. That didn’t kill the rattle. So I went through the entire field pulling the weed by hand. I must have collected a couple bushels of plants. Most were still blooming when I pulled them so they didn’t get a chance to seed.
All the work was worth it! This year I found only a handful of plants in the field, less than what I’m holding in the photo above. What a difference! We just cut the first hay crop and it’s now safely in the barn.
While the battle of the rattle appears to be a victory, the hay is still at the mercy of the weather. With an open winter and a dry spring, the grass is stressed and growing poorly. We got only half the hay we need for the winter from the first cut.
Day after fine, sunny, warm day is not helping the second crop grow. We need rain. The ground is drying out. Dust everywhere. The grass is struggling and has gone dormant in areas of the lawn and pastures. The forecast calls for rain this afternoon, fingers crossed!