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Alfalfa

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

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Genetically modified, reduced-lignin alfalfa is a significant game changer for alfalfa growers. It allows either higher-quality alfalfa to be harvested or delayed harvest with equal quality but higher yield.

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In 2019, there were an estimated 19.5 million alfalfa acres in production distributed from coast to coast.

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Weather patterns in central and northern Wisconsin were especially challenging to alfalfa stands during the winter and spring of 2018-19. Several winter rain events on already-saturated soils, lack of snow cover during the coldest part of winter and ice conditions in much of the Upper Midwest produced difficult conditions for alfalfa survival.

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Cultivars of many forage crops (alfalfa, white clover, tall fescue, orchardgrass, etc.) are not inbred lines or hybrids but, rather, populations. Thus, while every seed in a bag of wheat, soybean or corn is genetically identical, every seed in an alfalfa seed bag is genetically different.

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Every year in the Midwest, alfalfa fields are at risk for winter damage or kill due to extended cold temperatures and ice sheeting. Having the ability to evaluate your alfalfa fields for injury in early spring can ultimately jump-start crop rotation decisions.

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The conventional wisdom about cultivated, irrigated forages is that they have more than enough protein for ruminants but are too high in fiber and too low in energy to meet the needs of fattening calves or high-producing dairy cows.

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