Change in RFV and RFQ of Alfalfa During the Spring Growth

Change in RFV and RFQ of Alfalfa During the Spring Growth by Dan Undersander We have used RFV to determine when to harvest first cutting for consistent quality for over 20 years.  Alfalfa quality declines at a constant rate near harvest in the spring.  However, as shown in figure 1, the lines of quality decline differ […]

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Temperature and Moisture Effects on Forage Quality

Alfalfa Maturity Stage is Only Part of the Forage Quality Story by Mike Rankin Extension Crops and Soils Agent – Fond du Lac County “Cut alfalfa at late bud for optimum quality.” We’ve heard this statement, or a similar one, many times over the past 10 to 15 years. Although forage quality is strongly correlated to morphological […]

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Does Forage Quality Pay?

Does Forage Quality Pay? by Dan Undersander, UW Extension Forage Agronomist University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 email: djunders@wisc.edu Does forage quality pay? Absolutely, it pays in many ways for different situations. It may help produce the maximum return through high milk or meat production; it may increase breeding success; it may help a producer allocate different […]

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Aphanomyces Root Rot in Alfalfa

Aphanomyces Root Rot in Alfalfa by Dan Undersander and Paul Esker Aphanomyces root rot (Aphanomyces euteiches) is an important alfalfa disease. It occurs all over the Midwest U.S. The pathogen that causes Aphanomyces root rot is an oomycetous fungi that are especially present in wet and poorly drained soils (Schneider et al. 2008). Aphanomyces stunts and kills seedlings. […]

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Alfalfa Yield and Stand

Alfalfa Yield and Stand by Dan Undersander, Forage Agronomist University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension The single factor most affecting profitability of alfalfa is yield. This can be seen in the graph at the right which depicts economic data from the Green-Gold program (a third party verified measured yield and quality program) the Wisconsin Forage council used […]

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Diagnosing and Managing Winter Injury

Diagnosing and Managing Winter Injury by Dan Undersander Winter Injury occurs someplace in Wisconsin every year. Being able to diagnose and manage winter damaged stands may help prolong stand life and increase production. Below is a brief discussion on diagnosing and managing winter damaged alfalfa. Diagnosing Winter Injury Slow Green Up One of the most evident […]

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Alfalfa Grass Mixtures in Dairy Rations

Alfalfa Grass Mixtures in Dairy Rations by Dan Undersander Benefits of mixing grass with alfalfa: 30 to 40% grass mixed with alfalfa gives equal or higher yields than pure stands of alfalfa Improved yield in seeding year. Better yield in later years if alfalfa injured by winter, insects, disease. Alfalfa grass mixtures provide stand and yield […]

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Understanding Autotoxicity in Alfalfa

Understanding Autotoxicity in Alfalfa by John Jennings Extension Forage Specialist University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Specialist Alfalfa can remain productive in stands from four to ten years or more, but as plant population declines renovation eventually becomes necessary. Alfalfa is commonly grown in rotation with grain crops, however continuous production is desirable in many areas, particularly […]

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Effect of Seedling Year Stress on Future Alfalfa Yields

Effect of Seedling Year Stress on Future Alfalfa Yields by Dan Undersander Stress in the seeding year reduces future yields of alfalfa. This occurs because the seeding year determines the stand plant density as well as individual plant size and vigor. The following paragraphs will show that autotoxicity, potato leaf hopper, cover crop, and, possibly, drought […]

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Forage Quality of First Cutting Due to Wet Spring

Forage Quality of First Cutting Due to Wet Spring by Dr. Dan Undersander University of Wisconsin – Extension Frequent and above average rainfalls can make haymaking nearly impossible. In addition, the rainy weather meant many cloudy days with little sunshine for photosynthesis to provide energy for growing forage and the cool weather also slowed growth. This combination […]

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