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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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To effectively condition hay or haylage, we need to understand the forage drying process:

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Having the correct amount of moisture in harvested alfalfa at the time of baling is critical to maximizing economic return. In many of the areas of the western U.S., moisture levels of alfalfa hay in the windrow can dry to the point that leaves and stems will shatter during the baling process.

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Baled silage, or baleage, is forage baled at a higher moisture content than dry hay and then stored in sealed plastic wrap. The high moisture level and air-tight environment create favorable conditions for anaerobic fermentation and production of lactic and acetic acids that preserve the forage.

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Sunshine – a word producers have not said for a while during the winter/holiday season. As we start to climb into the calendar year, experience the beloved time change in March and see longer days filled with sunshine, it means hay season is not far away.

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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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