Hay on the Move in the Valley

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By Stephanie Leimgruber, Imperial County hay grower

Hay cutting
HOLTVILLE — We’re finished with our clippings in Imperial Valley and are getting into our first cutting of alfalfa. We had a week of freezing temperatures in January that hit the alfalfa pretty hard. Depending on where growers were in their cutting schedule, the hay would have anything from no damage to severe frost damage.

Our local hay industry has been severely impacted by the port slowdowns for the last eight months. We’re relieved that the port authorities and the longshoremen’s union have finally come to an agreement, but I am sure that the economic impact of this artificially created shortage will have a far-reaching ripple effect into the future. I’m hearing that it will take two to six months to clear out the backlog of ships.

Reprinted by permission of California Farm Bureau Federation