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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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According to the 2010 National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA) variety list, there are approximately 202 alfalfa varieties marketed in the United States.

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With good fall conditions winter annual weeds like pennycress, mustards, henbit, and downy brome are getting a dense, robust start that could lead to heavy weed growth next spring.

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Fall is a good time to consider evaluating existing alfalfa stands to estimate what stand conditions might be present next spring. Assessing stands in the fall helps to identify potentially weakened stands that will become more prone to winter injury.

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Fall alfalfa field management can have a substantial impact on next year’s spring growth and harvest potential.

Late fall cuttings
Poor fall harvest timing can negatively affect stored root food reserves, which can lead to poor winter survival. Given the cooler temperatures that are typical during the fall, it generally takes about six weeks for alfalfa to regrow and store adequate root reserves for winter survival.

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Timing the final alfalfa cutting before mid-September offers regrowth opportunities to reduce the risk of winter injury, say experts at Pioneer Hi-Bred.

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Alfalfa is an important forage for dairy cows because it provides fiber that effectively stimulates chewing while also providing energy and protein for milk production.

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