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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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Harvest management can have a huge effect on both the yield and quality of harvested forage. Leaves have a relative forage quality of about 550, while stems have a relative forage quality of 70 to 80.

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Early season weather forecasts suggest the 2018 summer could be a repeat of 2016, when many alfalfa producers discovered excessively high alfalfa hay nitrates. The question frequently asked is, “How do I prevent this from happening again?”

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Growing alfalfa in rotation with corn improves yields, reduces the risk of crop loss, reduces fertilizer nitrogen and pest control inputs, spreads cropping and labor activities throughout the growing season, improves soil quality and reduces cropland vulnerability to nitrate leaching, soil erosion and nutrient runoff.

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To bloom or not to bloom, that is the question.

There are differences of opinion as to whether farmers should allow their established alfalfa to bloom at least once each summer.

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Many diseases caused by fungi affect alfalfa. Common leaf spot, leptosphaerulina leaf spot, spring black stem and leaf spot, and stemphylium leaf spot are among the more important foliar diseases often encountered in the Upper Midwest.

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Winter injury occurs someplace in Wisconsin every year. Being able to diagnose and manage winter-damaged stands may help prolong stand life and increase production. Below is a brief discussion on diagnosing and managing winter-damaged alfalfa.

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