The Long and Short of Alfalfa Cutting Height

The Long and Short of Alfalfa Cutting Height Updated March, 2007 by Daniel Wiersma1, Mike Bertam1, Ron Wiederholt2 and Nick Schneider2 1former and current Agronomists, Marshfield Agricultural Research Station (MARS) 2former and current Clark County Crops and Soils Agents Introduction Current recommendations regarding cutting height of alfalfa are designed to maximize yield while maintaining high quality forages […]

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Sampling Corn Silage Fields to Accurately Determine Moisture

Sampling Corn Silage Fields to Accurately Determine Moisture Joe Lauer, Corn Agronomist Corn must be ensiled at the proper moisture to get fermentation for preservation. But, determining when to harvest corn at the right whole plant moisture is difficult. Each storage structure properly ensiles at slightly different moisture optimums. Harvesting corn too wet for the storage […]

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Minimizing Wheel Traffic Damage to Alfalfa

Minimizing Wheel Traffic Damage to Alfalfa by Dan Undersander What damage is caused by wheel traffic? Wheel traffic is known to increase soil compaction which, on some soils, reduces macropore air permeability, soil water infiltration and root development of alfalfa. All of which reduce yield. However, our research has indicated that the largest effect of wheel […]

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Effects of Rain Damage on Wilting Forages

Effects of Rain Damage on Wilting Forages by Wayne K. Coblentz1 and Richard E. Muck2 1US Dairy Forage Research Center, Marshfield, WI 2US Dairy Forage Research Center, Madison, WI Introduction One of the most common problems faced by hay or silage producers is how to manage production schedules around unfavorable weather. Inevitably, some wilting forage crops […]

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Seeding Alfalfa Fields Back Into Alfalfa

Seeding Alfalfa Fields Back Into Alfalfa by Dennis Cosgrove and Dan Undersander Introduction In certain instances such as after a failed seeding, winterkill or in an attempt to thicken thinning stands, producers may be interested in following alfalfa with alfalfa. This practice has met with varied success due primarily to compounds produced by older alfalfa plants, which inhibit […]

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Seeding into an Existing Alfalfa Stand

Seeding into an Existing Alfalfa Stand by Rhonda Gildersleeve, Dan Undersander, and Tim Wood Introduction Extensive alfalfa winter injury can upset forage inventories, make dairy ration formulation difficult and result in the need to purchase hay, which can be expensive. Crop rotations also suffer when farmers switch to other crops to replace damaged alfalfa stands. In […]

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Italian Ryegrass as a Companion for Alfalfa Seeding

Italian Ryegrass as a Companion for Alfalfa Seeding by Nick Schneider and Dan Undersander Introduction Italian ryegrass is a high quality grass that has become popular as a companion crop for alfalfa seeding. Italian ryegrass is native to southern Europe and includes a range of types from non-winterhardy perennials to annual types. The entire category is […]

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What is the “Cost” of Seeding Low-Cost Alfalfa Seed?

What is the “Cost” of Seeding Low-Cost Alfalfa Seed? by Daniel Wiersma, Ken Barnett and Mark Feuerstein Introduction When milk prices are low, dairy producers begin to look for ways to reduce the direct input expenses of growing alfalfa. One option that growers have is to purchase lower cost alfalfa seed. Alfalfa seed of modern varieties can cost […]

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Making Quality Silage Bales

Making Quality Silage Bales by Jerry Clark Introduction Humid conditions during the summer in the upper Midwest can make it difficult to harvest good, quality, dry hay. Many dairy producers have turned to large bale silage as a method of harvesting their hay crop either as their main storage option or to store surplus hay. Putting […]

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