- Author: Larry Schwankl
When water is in short supply, growers have few good options. Annual crop growers may choose to idle land when water is not available, but tree and vine growers, and alfalfa growers, have a crop in the ground that needs water.
So what does an alfalfa grower do during a drought? Luckily, information is available on making the best use of any available water and if the alfalfa has to be deficit-irrigated, work has also been done in that area.
Below are some links to excellent information helping you deal with limited or no water supplies.
UC Alfalfa & Forages Web Site
Numerous articles on irrigation of alfalfa and forages written for presentation at the UC Alfalfa & Forage Symposiums.
UC Drought Management Web site
Irrigation, and specifically drought irrigation strategies, for alfalfa and corn are included on this web site. This information is a synthesis of numerous research activities from California and other States.
CA Agronomy Society Proceedings
The CA Chapter of the Agronomy Society of America holds an annual conference for which a Proceedings is published. Annual Proceedings go back to 1973.
Proceedings of their 2011 Conference
“Evapotranspiration of Fully-irrigated Alfalfa in Commercial Fields” by Hanson, et al. Page 77-82
An article on fully-irrigated alfalfa water requirements.
“Mid-summer Deficit Irrigation of Alfalfa in Commercial Fields” by Hanson, et al. Page 83-88
An article on deficit-irrigation of alfalfa. Strategies that can be used when water supplies are limited.