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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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Dairies in the six western states of California, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Utah and Arizona produce around 38 percent of the U.S. milk supply. Dairies in these states consume approximately 65 percent of the alfalfa hay produced in the seven western states.

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Forage yield in 2010 was generally average or above average across the Midwest. Good rain occurred over the entire growing season which elevated hay and pasture yield.

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Heaving is problem in some alfalfa stands each year in the Midwest. Heaving occurs on heavy soils that have high moisture contents.

Repeated freezing and thawing causes soil expansion and contraction that pushes the tap-rooted plants (and fence posts) out of the soil.

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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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