When plants freeze, changes occur in their metabolism and composition that can poison grazing livestock if not properly managed. Delayed grazing is often the best solution, but how long should grazing be delayed?
Cutting alfalfa in October is often discouraged to avoid potential winter injury while it is winterizing. This year, however, you may find you have a substantial amount of high-quality alfalfa that can be safely cut. Here's what to consider.
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.
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.