Managing Alfalfa Cuttings for Both Yield and Quality

There are many strategies for managing alfalfa cuttings.  Some producers cut alfalfa based on a set schedule of days between cuttings, while some producers try to cut based on growth stage.  Either strategy works, but we need to keep in mind our goals.  Are we trying to maximize tonnage, maximize quality, or both? Obviously, [...]

2023-07-17T14:01:46+00:00Categories: Growing Alfalfa|Tags: , |

Army Cutworms in Alfalfa – Agronomy Tip

Crop Quest President & Agronomist, Dwight Koops, digging for cutworms. The season has kicked off with warmer temperatures allowing alfalfa to break for many and wheat is putting on new tillers – especially on some of the later planted wheat fields.   Unfortunately, these warmer temperatures are making army cutworms active as well. These [...]

Fertility Requirements of Alfalfa Production

Alfalfa production in Southwest Kansas is a profitable crop. Initial seed costs are comparable with corn, but when amortized out for a five to seven year stand, costs are around $20 per acre per year.  Furthermore, since alfalfa is a legume crop, nitrogen fertilizer is not required for production, assuming seed was inoculated and nodules [...]

Insect Resistance in Alfalfa

Weed and insect resistance to different kinds of pesticides continues to be a hot topic in agriculture. Most of us are aware of the resistance of glyphosate to a handful of common weeds.  About six years ago we started to see resistance on the alfalfa weevil with commonly used pyrethroid insecticides in alfalfa. Since then, [...]

Alfalfa Weevil

Alfalfa weevil can cause major damage to alfalfa production during the early cuttings of the growing season.  Adult weevils lay their eggs inside the alfalfa stems in the late fall or early spring.  The hatched larvae then feed on the terminals and upper leaves of the alfalfa plant in the early spring where most of [...]

Consider Haylage for First Cutting Alfalfa

First cutting of alfalfa is typically the highest yielding cutting of the season.  Normally, first cutting also has the lowest relative feed value (RFV) of the season.  It has the coarsest stems, prone to more leaf loss and notoriously gets cut a little later than the optimum quality growth stage in order to take advantage [...]

2020-04-29T18:12:55+00:00Categories: Growing Alfalfa|

Utilizing Feedlot Manure In Your Fertility Program

The cost of commercial fertilizer is a significant expense each year for crop production.  But fertilizer has always been an input with a positive return on investment when applied at proper rates, and when replacing nutrients that are deficient in soils. One fertilizer source that is usually in great demand where available is manure.  Beef [...]

Plan Early For Winter Annual Weed Control In Alfalfa

Mid December through January is the ideal time to apply pre-emergent or dormancy herbicides for mustard control in alfalfa. Applications of DuPont™ Velpar® or Velpar® AlfaMax™ Herbicide will provide control of winter annual weeds like Tansy mustards and Shepardspurse. These products provide contact and residual control. Both Velpar® and Velpar® AlfaMax™ should only be applied [...]

Importance of Potassium in Alfalfa Production

Alfalfa continues to be a valuable commodity across the country.  Producing enough quality alfalfa to meet the needs of the beef and dairy industry has been a challenge, especially during the dry years we have experienced lately. In order to maximize forage production, alfalfa needs to be properly managed for pests, water and fertilizer.  Sometimes [...]

Accomplishing More With Less – Hay Steamers

Steam.  We use it to iron clothes, cook vegetables, and clean surfaces, and now there is a new machine enabling a farmer to use steam for baling hay, called the DewPoint 6110. The DewPoint 6110 is one of the first of its kind, manufactured by Staheli West, Inc. out of Utah.  This machine is pulled [...]

2020-04-29T18:23:19+00:00Categories: Growing Alfalfa|

Roundup Ready Alfalfa Is A Must When Spring Planting

“It’s vital to use Roundup Ready Alfalfa when planting hay in the spring,” agrees Rob Benyshek, Crop Quest Western Region Vice President and Eric Konrade, Crop Quest Division Manager, Garden City, KS.  No other pre-emergent herbicides can be used on spring planted alfalfa, which is why it is important to utilize this Roundup Ready trait [...]

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