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UW Extension to present options for dairy farms dealing with alfalfa shortage

PULASKI, WI (WTAQ) - The UW Extension Service will meet with dairy farmers later this month, to discuss options for feeding their cows in the wake of heavy alfalfa damage.

Forage agronomist Dan Undersander says the crop probably has its worst winter kill in over 20 years throughout the Upper Midwest.

Losses are up to 80 percent in central Wisconsin, with damage on 20 to 30 percent of fields in the southern part of the state.

Undersander said much of the alfalfa went dormant last fall without storing up nutrients – and the long winter was too much for the crop to withstand. Low areas also have a good amount of winter kill.

Officials say the situation has created a worst-case scenario for dairy farmers who are running out of forage, and are facing hay shortages.

As a result, Undersander says farmers might have to try to salvage stands they would normally replace.

The UW Extension has five meetings planned to discuss feeding options. They’ll take place May 28th in Bear Creek and Pulaski, May 29th in Kiel and Kaukauna, and May 30th in Wausau.