Assess Condition of Alfalfa Fields at First Harvest May 19, 2016

First cutting of alfalfa is here or approaching rapidly and presents a good time to evaluate field conditions and plan management.

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Biological control insects and alfalfa aphids
Biological control insects and alfalfa aphids

Aphids Active in Nebraska Spring Alfalfa May 6, 2016

Examination of an alfalfa field in northeast Nebraska this week revealed some alfalfa weevil larvae (under threshold at just over one larvae/sweep) and a surprisingly high population of pea aphids. This was somewhat unexpected due to the recent winds and rain which often dislodge aphids from plant stems, resulting in reduced pea aphid numbers. See story for biocontrol information and aphid scouting and treatment recommendations.

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alfalfa weevil
Alfalfa weevils can cause serious yield loss in first cutting alfalfa

Scout for Alfalfa and Clover Leaf Weevils May 5, 2016

Guide to identifying and managing alfalfa and clover leaf weevils in alfalfa. While research in northeast Nebraska has shown that clover leaf weevil larva feeding does not cause yield reduction to first cutting alfalfa, alfalfa weevil feeding can cause severe losses to yield and quality of the first cutting. This is why it's important to correctly identify the type of weevil feeding causing damage.

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Postemergence Weed Control in Alfalfa May 4, 2016

With all the recent moisture, alfalfa is growing well — as are broadleaf and grassy weeds in the alfalfa. Here are a couple methods for controlling weeds before they affect alfalfa yield.

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How Early Can Alfalfa be Cut? April 28, 2016

First cutting often is the most important cutting of the year.  It usually produces the most yield and its forage quality changes fastest from day to day. Alfalfa started growing like gangbusters this spring, is almost knee high in some places, and could be ready to cut soon.

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Preseason Hay Equipment Maintenance April 22, 2016

Take advantage of these rainy days to maintain your haying equipment and prevent costly downtime later. Listed tasks can help ensure you cover the essentials.

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Pitfalls of Thickening Old Alfalfa Stands April 13, 2016

If your alfalfa is looking a little thin, you may be tempted to add alfalfa to thicken the stand. Before you do, consider:

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Wrapping Hay to Beat the Weather April 1, 2016

Some years rain plays havoc with hay quality. When dark clouds are on the horizon some go ahead and bale the tough hay and hope it doesn’t spoil or get hot and burn. Others wait out the storm and cross their fingers that the rains will hit their row crop fields but miss their hay fields.

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