News

Less handling = better alfalfa

A University of Wisconsin researcher says how alfalfa is cut and processed can have a huge impact on quality and yield.

Dan Undersander

Extension Agronomist and researcher Dan Undersander says farmers can lose from 5 to 20 percent of their alfalfa yield because of leaf loss, so moving the alfalfa as little as possible helps preserve leaves.

Extension Agronomist and researcher Dan Undersander says farmers can lose from 5 to 20 percent of their alfalfa yield because of leaf loss, so moving the alfalfa as little as possible helps preserve leaves.  Undersander says, “For example, to put it in a wide swath so that you can just rake it once into a windrow before you chop or bale it.  A wide swath will dry faster.”

Undersander says the dryer the alfalfa, the more leaves you lose.  “So that’s why haylage tends to be a little bit better for a lot of us in this region because we’re putting it up at 50 or 60 percent water, and our leaf loss as we’re picking it up with the chopper is less.”

Undersander also recommends using roller conditioners for forage that is over 50% alfalfa and to never use a tedder on alfalfa.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this page

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published.


 

stay up to date

Subscribe for our newsletter today and receive relevant news straight to your inbox!