The 2016 crop year is a pretty normal year weather-wise for both the Willamette Valley and east side. When Oregon finally decided to let us have rain, it opened up and tried to make up for the previous drought year in one month. December went down as the wettest December for Oregon in history. Needless to say, we have come out of the drought and are once again sick of the rain, with a few more months of it to go.
Established stands of tall fescue and perennial ryegrass are still struggling to recover from the drought conditions of last year. Many of the established stands that were not able to get water are weak and not as growthy as we would like to see. The exact opposite is true of new plantings which are thriving in our normal Oregon winter. Annual ryegrass looks good as well.
Right now is a critical time for producers. Timing is essential for spray applications and fertilizer shots. Being able to control weeds this time of year has everything to do with when growers can time and get their herbicides on between rain showers. Breaks in weather have to be more than a few days to even attempt to take machinery out on soggy ground.
A lot can happen between now and harvest. There are so many factors (especially Mother Nature) that allow a crop to be successful and have both the quality and yield that makes it worth growing and marketing. Growers are a lot like professional gamblers- you increase your odds of winning, nothing is for sure until it’s in the barn.