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Green news from the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Hills
Comments:
by Charles A Raguse
on May 30, 2013 at 10:15 AM
Alfalfa cut...to ten times a season seems an exaggeration. Amount of regrowth yield between cuttings would be minimal and the overly short regrowth interval would weaken regrowth ability and limit stand life.  
 
The picture captioned "Wildlife in alfalfa" again depicts poor stand management. In a border-check irrigation system, this image shows water collecting at the end of the checks. Repeated occurrence would result in bare soil, summer weed invasion and limited stand life.  
 
The picture oddly captioned "Hay rake" shows another element of poor management of this premier California field crop. Cut hay, clearly dry, is allowed to remain in the field overly long. The compacted windrow is smothering alfalfa regrowth, as seen by the green strips of regrowth in between. Eventual regrowth of the windrow will simply invite invasion of weeds and (again)limit productive stand life.
by Rachael Long
on May 31, 2013 at 12:44 PM
We agree that a number of factors go into ensuring healthy alfalfa stands including harvest and irrigation management, soil fertility, and pest, disease, and weed control, that's often dependent on alfalfa varieties and field location. A good source of information for alfalfa production is the UC ANR publication, "Irrigated Alfalfa Management for Mediterranean and Desert Zones."
by Annie Smith
on May 31, 2013 at 2:45 PM
It would be also reasonable to mention that this year was the first planting of GMO alfalfa.
 
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