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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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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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The following article was written by William Curran and Dwight Ligenfelter, Penn State Weed Science. View the article, as well as additional information, from the March 9 edition of Penn State Field Crop News

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Another alfalfa weevil scouting article was recently released by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. (Click here to see tips from the University of Illinois.)

Extension specialists explain the life cycle of the alfalfa weevil consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult beetle or weevil. The first indications of weevil injury are small holes eaten in leaves at the growing tip during April and May. This injury becomes more apparent as weevil larvae grow.

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Although corn planting is a priority this time of year, don't forget about keeping an eye out for alfalfa weevils. 

"Scouting is important to determine whether or not economic infestations are present and to determine if rescue treatments or an early harvest are warranted," said Mike Gray, University of Illinois Extension entomologist.

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