End of season alfalfa decisions

Growers are taking steps to ensure next year’s alfalfa stands get off on the right foot.

Jon Dockter with the National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance says fourth cuttings were common across the Upper Midwest.

“It all depends on the growth at the time (of the last cut) and how producers feel about their forage inventory and the risk of leaving it too short going into winter. Obviously there’s always the risk of winterkill, so you want to make sure that there’s enough growth there to avoid that.”

He tells Brownfield plentiful forage supplies from the 2022 crop have eased pressure for the winter.

“In a year you might be short of forage you might be more willing to take a risk of taking a last cutting and going into the winter without as much forage biomass there.”

But this year Dockter says many farmers could afford to take their last cutting earlier to help mitigate the chances of winterkill. 

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