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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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Scissors cutting program suggests optimal growing degree days for first-harvest alfalfa is likely higher this year.

The old proverbial saying about a fly in the ointment is certainly true this year when it comes to predicting when alfalfa will be ready to harvest.

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Now how did that go? “For the want of a nail, a shoe was lost; for the want of a shoe, a horse was lost; for the want of a horse, a rider was lost; for the want of a rider, a message was lost; for the want of a message, a battle was lost; for the want of a battle, a war was lost; for the want of a war, a nation was lost; all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”

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Grazing alfalfa requires top-notch management to ensure optimal stand persistence and animal performance. As with any high-value crop, greater economic return is generally achieved with a higher level of management.

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The year 2011 proved to be very challenging for farmers across the country due to extremes in weather.

Several regions of the country experienced historic droughts and many farmers struggled to keep crops alive, while others faced the extreme opposite of prolonged periods of rain and flooding that resulted in extremely wet soil conditions that delayed or prevented spring plantings.

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Coated alfalfa seed, or pelletized seed was introduced commercially several years ago but has been around for much longer. Pelletization is a process where seed is coated with a mixture of nutrients, pesticides or rhizobia.

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After a harsh winter season, it is important for growers to catch any potential winterkill or injury by walking their alfalfa fields and assessing winter survival. Early detection of winter injury problems is key to making sound forage management decisions.

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