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Alfalfa

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

LATEST

Many dairy farmers rely increasingly on corn silage to meet forage needs. While the efficiencies associated with the production, harvest and storage of corn silage are attractive, a less desirable corollary of this management trend is the increased linkage of manure distribution with production of corn.

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“Alfalfa? In the South?! Will it even grow down here?” That has been the usual response when growing alfalfa in the South is mentioned, but that is starting to change.

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Alfalfa is often referred to as the “queen of forages” due to its relatively good digestibility, high protein and ability to readily fix nitrogen. But there’s a big drawback to the “queen”: Much of her protein is lost during the harvest and ensiling process, and more is lost in the rumen.

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This past winter was difficult for many perennial crops in northern states. Snow is a tremendous insulating factor that was absent for much of the winter in many locations.

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Many things within your control can impact the quality and quantity of your alfalfa, according to Brian Lang of Iowa State University Extension. Lang presented several ways to improve alfalfa production during the 2015 Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Days.

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Recently I asked a South Dakota alfalfa grower what he enjoyed most about growing alfalfa. His response was simple, “The best part of growing alfalfa is when I’ve finished harvesting and know I captured a high-quality crop of alfalfa.”

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