Alfalfa is an excellent addition to crop-livestock systems and can provide a range of benefits to farmers. It reduces disease pressure and improves forage quality. It is an excellent addition to integrated crop-livestock systems. Learn more about the benefits of alfalfa hay.
Reduces disease pressure
Using fungicides in alfalfa hay for sale has many benefits. Fungicides control leaf spot diseases and improve forage yield. The higher the potential forage yield, the more fungicides are used. Historically, the only fungicide approved for alfalfa hay production was cupric hydroxide. This herbicide had limited efficacy but was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2011. Fortunately, pyraclostrobin and Headline have been approved for alfalfa production.
A study in 2003 by Forge et al. showed that alfalfa hay mulch reduced the presence of several pathogenic nematodes. It also suppressed the buildup of root-lesion nematodes, which are key components of the replant disease complex. This may have resulted in increased vigor and fruit yield of alfalfa.
The nutritional composition of pelleted alfalfa hay is different from that of loose hay. It is not yet clear how much difference the nutritional composition of loose hay makes when compared to pelleted alfalfa hay. However, the nutritional composition of loose-hay hay was more digestible than that of pelleted alfalfa.
The root-lesion nematode can cause stunting and nutrient deficiency in alfalfa plants. The disease is characterized by black or brown lesions on the root surface. It may also lead to secondary infections of the roots. A severe infestation of lesion nematodes can significantly reduce yield.
The timing of harvest is critical to reducing disease pressure in alfalfa. Alfalfa should be planted from October 1 to November 15. During the growing season, soil moisture should be adequate for good germination. Moreover, it is crucial to inoculate the seeds with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Once the seeds have been inoculated, they should be planted as soon as possible. The first crop should be harvested when the plants are 10 to 16 inches tall. After this harvesting stage, they should be cultipacked.
Increases forage quality
Alfalfa hay is a highly nutritious, high-quality feed that can increase the forage quality of livestock. Its quality is high during the early stages of growth, but gradually decreases over several days. Forage quality is dependent on various factors, including maturity and weather. For example, delayed spring harvest and erratic harvest dates can lower the forage's quality. For this reason, a variety of alfalfa varieties should be planted to maintain forage quality throughout the growing season.
Alfalfa hay increases forage composition in many ways. It is a good source of fiber, protein, and other nutrients. It is also high in vitamins and minerals. Moreover, alfalfa hay helps the cattle develop a more balanced diet. Cows fed on 20% chopped alfalfa hay retained more feed than those fed on 40% chopped alfalfa hay.
While assessing forage quality, it is important to understand how to measure it. For instance, it is important to measure the amount of nitrogen in the forage. Then, it is important to determine whether the amount of nitrogen is true protein or nonprotein nitrogen. It is important to remember that both forms of nitrogen are used by animals.
Alfalfa grows in both the western and eastern U.S. The plant's growth and quality depend on the climate. In some regions, alfalfa grows at a lower rate than in others. Hence, it is essential to know how to measure alfalfa quality to ensure the best possible quality of alfalfa for your cows.
Although alfalfa hay increases forage quality, this does not necessarily increase the forage's NDF content. The difference is that the concentration of NDF in the higher-quality alfalfa hay was lower. In addition, it had a higher concentration of NDF in the long particles.
Is a good addition to integrated crop-livestock systems
Alfalfa hay can be beneficial to an integrated crop-livestock system for several reasons. Combined with other crops, it can reduce nitrogen fertilizer use by as much as 40%. It also improves soil fertility. Many studies show that alfalfa hay can improve the yields of crops grown in sandy soil.
The lack of water has led many livestock producers to cull their herds and ship animals out of state during droughts. However, winter wheat can help fill the gap and increase alfalfa acreage. Ultimately, this translates to improved profitability for producers.
In recent decades, livestock operations have expanded at an increasingly rapid rate. In many places, the relationship between cropland and livestock has been broken, resulting in public health and environmental problems. To better understand the role of integrated crop-livestock systems, a multi-scale spatial analysis of such systems is needed. To that end, Joshi and Wang studied dairy farms in New Mexico and proposed judicious application of manure. Moreover, they recommended the use of a crop-grassland-livestock system.
Moreover, alfalfa hay provides a habitat for various wildlife species. In particular, it serves as a foraging and nesting ground for many bird species. For example, it is the most commonly grown hay crop in New Mexico. Other common hay crops include fescue grass, bromegrass, orchard grass, and timothy.
Is a good forage legume
Alfalfa is one of the most popular forage legumes, and it has a long history in North America. It is a perennial plant that grows in most parts of the U.S. Today, it is used as feed for horses and other livestock. It is also an excellent source of nitrogen and can yield up to eight tons per acre per year. It contains around 20 percent crude protein and about 16 percent N. The legume-bacteria system in alfalfa can supply up to 510 pounds of nitrogen per acre annually, which is a much better use of nitrogen than commercial fertilizers. It also contributes nitrogen to the soil through its root system.
In addition to being used for animal feed, many forage legumes are also used as ornamental plants. White clover, for example, contains genes that make it suitable as an ornamental plant. Its corolla is red, and its leaves have a large red leaf mark. The result of combining these traits should be a plant with red leaves and flowers, which can be used in hanging baskets and as a perennial ground cover.
While some horses may be able to handle legume hay without any adverse effects, others may not be able to handle its high nutritional content. Some horses may be prone to mold and dustiness, and this legume can increase the risk of enteroliths, a type of disease that affects susceptible breeds.
The amount of nitrogen a legume can fix is dependent on the species and soil conditions. Annual legumes, however, usually have smaller root systems and can be harvested as hay or forage and may provide as much as 120 pounds of nitrogen per acre.
It is resilient to difficult growing conditions
Alfalfa hay is resilient to a variety of growing conditions, including drought and low-nutrient soils. However, the variability in alfalfa cultivars makes it difficult to make conclusive conclusions. For example, there are differences between cultivars in their winter survival index and disease resistance, but these traits are not related to productivity. In the present study, a number of cultivars were evaluated on their winter survival index and productivity.
The researchers used a database of yield data for 679 alfalfa cultivars from 1060 public trials across 11 US states and one Canadian province. These data represent the mean annual yield of the cultivars across three to eight replicates in each trial year. They excluded data from locations that were not open to the public or did not collect data for more than six years.
Alfalfa is a cool-season perennial legume that grows from three to twelve years. It resembles clover and has clusters of small purple flowers. It grows up to one meter high with a deep root system. It is also resistant to drought and can tolerate higher elevations than most annual crops.
Alfalfa originated in south-central Asia. The Persians introduced it to Greece around 490 BC. Its cultivation is discussed in Palladius' Opus Agriculturae in the fourth century AD. In ancient Greece, alfa was used as a source of fresh provender.
The traits responsible for resilience may differ among cultivars and can be correlated with productivity in a crisis year. In other words, cultivars with greater fall dormancy scores may have greater resilience, but they might not be as productive as those that are not. The disease resistance index could also influence a cultivar's resilience.