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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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With input costs on the rise, growers question whether there will be a return on their investment before making a purchase.

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Some farmers always get good stands of alfalfa – while others do not. The following will outline a few points that successful farmers use to establish good stands.

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Spontaneous heating in moist hays
Most hay producers are quite familiar with the problems associated with baling moist hay.

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Harvesting 10 tons of alfalfa per acre each year is a lofty goal. Whether you aim for this target or you aspire to achieve your farm’s highest yields, doing so begins by successfully establishing a robust alfalfa stand of top-end genetics in high-fertility fields.

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His name is Henry. He is a seasoned dairyman who knows his nearly 120 cows by name. He always greets you with a smile and a strong handshake. He has four children, three of whom are off to college or pursuing careers outside of farming. One son works on the farm. This son just plowed down 150 acres of alfalfa, which is 70 percent of all alfalfa acres on the farm.

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Warmer spring weather soon will green up your alfalfa. Before that happens, though, maybe you should do a little weed control.

Weeds like pennycress, downy brome, mustards, cheatgrass, dandelion and shepherd's purse are common in first-cut alfalfa. They lower alfalfa yields, reduce quality, lessen palatability and slow hay drydown. Walk over your fields during the next few weeks once snow is gone, especially in areas where these weeds grew last year. They probably will be there again this spring. You should be able to see their small, green, over-wintering growth.

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