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Alfalfa

Find articles on alfalfa planting, stand establishment and crop management to help you achieve your production goals.

LATEST

Alfalfa has long been appreciated for its high protein content. It is normally around 20% crude protein (CP) for dairy-quality hay/haylage and 16% to 18% CP when harvested at first flower to mid-flower for growing animals.

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The legendary grass breeder and agronomist Dr. Glenn Burton told attendees at the 1990 Southern Pasture and Forage Crop Improvement Conference a story that was related to him after he arrived in Tifton, Georgia, in 1936.

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Single or mixed species of small grains such as barley, wheat, oats and triticale are being used more frequently as rotation forage crops in the West, especially during drought years, as small-grain forages typically require less total irrigation than corn, and the timing of their irrigation needs (April – July) often better synchronizes with water availability from snowmelt, or “high water,” than corn in some areas of the West.

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The University of Idaho Extension produces costs and returns estimates for alfalfa hay every other year.

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Stagnant alfalfa yields have been lamented for many years, and I consistently hear growers say their yields today are no better than “X” years ago. Why is this?

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We may not be thinking of winter when temperatures are 80º to 90ºF, but we should now begin preparing alfalfa for winter if we want good winter survival and high yield next spring.

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