Warm, humid weather has caused rust to form in many alfalfa fields throughout our region. While it causes little damage in fields harvested monthly, it can injure and defoliate more mature alfalfa or alfalfa grown for seed.
Extra rain this summer has made many pastures greener than they've been in a long time, but unfortunately, some of that green is likely to be weeds. At this point in the season shredding and grazing may be more effective than applying a herbicide.
When the temperature is consistently above 90°F, many guidelines for alfalfa harvest no longer apply. Rather than using the bloom as a guide, give plants extra time between hot summer harvests to maintain healthy stands.
Seeding year alfalfa is just getting its "field legs" and needs to be managed differently than established alfalfa. Stems are spindly, roots are small and growth is slower. Following these harvest guidelines can help assure multiple harvests and a strong first season.