- Agronomic: general hay and forage crops
- Animal Production: preventive practices
- Education and Training: demonstration, extension, on-farm/ranch research
- Pest Management: cultural control, genetic resistance
- Production Systems: general crop production
This research project found that delaying the final alfalfa cutting until growth ceases increases subsequent first-cutting yield in a four-cutting, but not three-cutting system. First-cutting growth was impacted by cutting schedule and alfalfa varieties in the four-cutting system. In the three-cutting system, yield was influenced only by variety. Modification of late-season cutting schedule will not be beneficial if the final cutting is not utilized. However, if a non-traditional use is developed, alteration of cutting schedule can increase profits. The experiments will be continued to determine the effect of late-season harvest management on long-term stand life.
1) Determine if modification of present late-season alfalfa harvest practices will affect stand persistence.
2) Determine relationships and interactions between late-season harvest management practices and alfalfa varieties on non-structural carbohydrates, alfalfa stem nematodes, and root and crown rot diseases of alfalfa.
3) Conduct an economic analysis of traditional and modified late-season harvest practices to determine how long-term profitability is affected by management changes.
1) Demonstrate to growers the effectiveness and economics of modification of late-season harvest management practices in maintaining alfalfa stands.