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Archive | Cover Crops

Learn techniques for proper cover cropping, and the benefits of cover cropping for soil, plants, quality, yields, biodiversity and sustainable agriculture.

bug on alfalfa

Common Forage Pests and Problems

If your soil is not yet in good condition, or if the weather isn’t cooperating, and your plants are under stress and are attacked by a disease or pest, all the Utopian theories in the world will not help. You have to save that crop!

identify nutrient deficiencies

Nutrient Deficiencies in Alfalfa

Severe sickness is usually easy to spot because of visible discoloration or dying of above-ground parts. Less severe deficiencies and toxicities are harder to diagnose. Often the plants look healthy, but growth may be slowed, yield may be reduced, and feed quality will probably be decreased.

Alfalfa

How to Measure Alfalfa Quality

One of the keys to keeping the right balance of nutrients is to have well aerated soil with plenty of humus, for humus and its associated microorganisms tend to provide balanced nutrition to plants.

standards for a number of crops

Brix Measurement Standards

Thus, the total advantage of high-quality alfalfa goes beyond that indicated by digestible nutrient content and is compounded by a potential for being consumed at higher levels, a faster rate of digestibility, and perhaps a more efficient conversion of digested energy to produce energy.

Alfalfa blossoms

Forage: When to Harvest

The first cutting of a new stand should be delayed until the plants are strong and vigorous and have a good root system, generally 70 to 90 days after germination for a spring seeding.

Alfalfa sprouts

Planting Density for Forage

Whether you want to use broadcast, drill, or band seeding methods may depend mainly on your situation and available equipment. With good soil conditions, any seeding method can give good results.