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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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For alfalfa producers, mild winters come at a price. Thanks to hot summers and mild winters, alfalfa growers in California’s Central Valley can usually depend on six cuttings of hay each year, but since they do not experience a true winter, weed infestation in their dormant alfalfa stands can be a problem.

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It’s about as basic as you can get in alfalfa production: Make sure soil nutrients are at optimal levels to give your crop the best opportunity to grow and thrive, and achieve return on investment and yield potential goals.

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Genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa was deregulated in 2005 for the first time and again in January 2011, opening the door to renewed commercial sales and planting.

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Dr. Charles Brummer’s research at the University of California – Davis has focused on alfalfa breeding. One area of focus is looking into the genetic basis of fall dormancy using various genetic mapping methods. His group is also evaluating a large amount of germplasm to find adapted, high-yielding, non-dormant germplasm under saline conditions and under deficit irrigation.

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Alfalfa can get sick too, but oftentimes the influence of a disease goes unrecognized or is mistaken for something else. Find out what ailments are prevalent in your area, what it can do to your alfalfa’s production and what can be done to stop it.

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When is the right time to rotate your alfalfa stand?

There are many factors that go into deciding when the time is right to rotate your fields, especially local climate and growing conditions, but there are a few indicators that are consistent regardless of geography.

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