Late season alfalfa management decisions often come down to balancing a need for forage versus stand health and winter survival. Weather patterns across the state in 2018 have been variable. Lack of summer rain in some areas have decreased forage yields, frequent rains or too much rainfall in other areas have blown apart harvest schedules and/or resulted in low quality forage inventories. Taking a fall alfalfa harvest is an opportunity to increase both the quality and quantity of the farm forage inventory. Like most farming decisions, there are trade-offs and risk factors to consider when making a fall alfalfa harvest.
The decision of when to take the last harvest of alfalfa to insure good winter survival and yield potential for the following year can be boiled down to two choices. Either cut early enough in the fall to permit alfalfa to regrow and replenish carbohydrate root reserves or cut late enough so that alfalfa does not regrow and use carbohydrate root reserves.… Continue readingRead More »