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Alfalfa

Find articles on alfalfa planting, stand establishment and crop management to help you achieve your production goals.

LATEST

The alfalfa snout beetle (ASB) remains a key limiting factor to alfalfa stand life in northern New York, capable of killing entire stands or large portions of stands in a single year.

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Aphanomyces root rot has plagued alfalfa growers for decades. Over the years, two different genetic manifestations of the disease have been discovered: Race 1 and Race 2. Fortunately, alfalfa varieties with resistance to both races have been on the market for a while, providing excellent protection for alfalfa growers across the country.

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The quality of alfalfa hay is determined by its maturity at cutting, environmental conditions prior to and during harvest, and by handling and storage processes post-harvest. Environmental conditions vary from year to year and day to day, so calendar date is not a good predictor.

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Hay from road ditches is commonly harvested and used as feed for beef cattle and other livestock. In some cases, the forages being harvested from ditches are of very high quality, while in others the hay is harvested well after dedicated hayfields and optimizing quality may not be a top priority.

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For convenience or necessity, we sometimes want to work in or make applications in our alfalfa fields during the late fall, winter and early spring. Alfalfa is most dormant then, and it is a good time to apply fertilizer, compost or manure. Sometimes we need to use herbicides that are supposed to be applied while alfalfa is dormant.

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Highly saline soils have been a thorn in the side of alfalfa producers in arid regions of the U.S. for years. Soils that are high in salt can limit alfalfa yields and have a negative effect on plant emergence and health.

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