- Author: Daniel H Putnam
- Author: Mike Ottman
Late summer harvests of alfalfa are often disappointing to growers, with low yields and also low quality.
This is often called ‘summer slump’ – which occurs with alfalfa but also (more severely) with cool-season forages like timothy, ryegrass, orchardgrass and fescue. The extent of the reduction in yield and quality depends upon heat, irrigation, cutting schedule, and weather patterns. This year, for example, many regions had hot temperatures in late June and early July, but more moderate temperatures (so far) in August.
Why does this occur? Its causes are somewhat complex. An excellent recent article by Mike Ottman and Ayman Mostafa from the University of Arizona, Tucson, explores the...