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News and information from UC Cooperative Extension about alfalfa and forage production.
Tractor & Hay bales
by Steve Hargis
on January 22, 2014 at 6:57 AM
There is a proven sustainable livestock growing system that is poised to offer farmers & ranchers an economical, safe, source for growing their own livestock feed supplement. Greenfield Hydroponics Systems of Oklahoma Inc. is currently introducing a World Bank award project recently completed, in rural India. These new agriculture technologies have the potential to become the most effective "Solutions" to combat DROUGHT situations.
Reply by Daniel H Putnam
on January 22, 2014 at 7:12 AM
The whole "Hydroponic Forage" issue is addressed in detail elsewhere on this blog - with extensive comments. Sorry, Steve, but it's not as rosy as what you've said. We've calculated that Hydroponic forage actually results in a loss in yield, and not a positive in terms of water use efficiency. Unless you can provide data to the contrary, this should not be looked at as a solution to our terrible drought, or to the needs of rural India - I am familiar with the situation there.
by Bill Wilson
on January 26, 2014 at 7:41 AM
A look for the ideal hay potassium percentage for a reasionable yield could be one way.  
Possinly 2.60% K or even 3.00% K may be the answer.  
A ton of hay on 4inches of water or less.  
Harvesting for the Old 20% CP 30% Adf & 40% Ndf standard fr dairy quality hay. Or Harvesting at quarter bloom?  
Of course there is still the Summer Dormancy option.
Reply by Daniel H Putnam
on January 26, 2014 at 12:29 PM
Thanks, Bill for the comment.  
The higher K tends to be an (negative quality) issue for some classes of livestock, due to the K-Ca balance, and I'm not sure if it'd solve the issue of water supply.  
Maximizing spring yields (while perhaps sacrificing quality) may be one strategy. Dairies want 27% ADF and 34% NDF, but yields should take precedent, with supply being so limiting.
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