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Old 09-05-2009, 09:31 AM
9,807 posts, read 13,686,634 times
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There is no better feed for dairy cows than prime alfalfa hay/haylage.

However, as BT pointed out it is an expensive and hard ( in some areas) crop to grow.

It requires a ph of 6.7, is a huge consumer of potash, and is suspect to leafhopper and aphids ( requiring spraying with herbicides)

However, it sure does yield !

A few miles south of me in frigid Minnesota, the big dairy farms were harvesting their 4th crop of the year yesterday.

Yes, ocassionally we have winterkill problems in Minnesota but the worst culprit is an early spring rain before the ground unthaws and then it freezes.

That sheet of ice over the alfalfa has ocassionally been a problem.

Also, winterkill that BT explained is more likely to happen on low ph soils ( a " double whammy" of having a low ph)
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Old 09-05-2009, 03:16 PM
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That is just it...people are amazed that we only get in 2 crops of alfalfa. They think we are slack farmers or something. The truth is Marmac, we have enough winter feed on two harvestings of haylage...why burn fuel to harvest what you don't need?

I know its better cut at boot stage, but that is why I am not a big fan alfalfa. It seems we have to baby it to get something we really don't need. It also limits your fall grazing since it needs to be at least 8" high or winter kill is an issue. That means I can't just let my sheep graze right up until the first deep snow.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:35 AM
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What is the result if you have a 5.3 ph and do not lime but follow the other fertilizer recommended by Texas A & M?
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