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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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Alfalfa is arguably the most variable feed producers grow. 

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As forage production costs continue to escalate, hay producers are looking more closely at their bottom line. Many have questions about how to determine their bale weight, feed value and selling price.

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Another drought year ahead or not, adding more forages to the grazing mix helps during the annual summer slump, says a University of Missouri Extension forage specialist.

Rob Kallenbach advocates more alfalfa, although the legume called “the queen of forages” has fallen out of favor with some farmers.

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Developing a least-cost, supplemental feeding program begins by having hays analyzed for nutrient content. A forage analysis is necessary because hays can be highly variable in nutrient content.

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Alfalfa is a productive and vigorous forage crop. Alfalfa is high-quality forage commonly fed to beef cattle, sheep and horses, and it can be also used for green chop and silage.

Alfalfa is a cool-season perennial legume with up to 36 inches of growth and a deep taproot well adapted to dry conditions. Most tillers arise from the crown. Leaves are trifoliloate with serrated leaflets at the tip.

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Good-quality alfalfa is the cornerstone of any dairy farm forage ration. However, alfalfa is not just for dairy or beef producers any more.

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