Alfalfa U speaker Curt Woolfolk went back to the basics during his session on fertilizers Feb. 21 at the event in Dodge City, Kansas, sponsored by Alforex Seeds, John Deere and High Plains Journal.
“Whenever you talk about soil fertility, you kind of need to start off with basics of crop nutrients,” he said. Woolfolk is the senior agronomist for Western North America for The Mosaic Company.
There are 118 elements on the periodic table, and Woolfolk said only about 14 percent of those are relative to crop and plant nutrition. There are only 17 essential elements agronomists and growers need to be concerned about.
Josh Beam and Tony Hansen detailed a few ways to make the most out of bale settings when it comes to baling alfalfa. The pair from John Deere spoke at the Alfalfa U event in Dodge City, Kansas. Alfalfa U is sponsored by Alforex Seeds, John Deere and High Plains Journal.
For many alfalfa growers, water is the biggest limiting factor to growing a high yield, so utilizing an efficient irrigation system is key to their bottom line, explained McClain Pool.
Pool is a regional manager for Eco-Drip, covering the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma, and the southern portions of Kansas and Colorado. He spoke in a breakout session about subsurface drip irrigation’s efficiencies at the 2019 Alfalfa U, Feb. 21. The Alfalfa U series of meetings, held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Fort Hall, Idaho; and Dodge City, Kansas, were sponsored by High Plains Journal, Alforex and John Deere.
The queen of forages deserves royal treatment.
One of the world’s oldest crops, alfalfa has the highest feeding value of all forages, said Anowar Islam, an associate professor and forage specialist at the University of Wyoming.
Improving alfalfa management, including for stand establishment, will improve sustainability and profitability, he said.
Barry Bradford, Kansas State University dairy nutritionist, said traditionally when people think about feeding dairy cattle they think a certain way.
“We feed forage for cow health, to keep the rumen healthy and we feed concentrates for energy,” Bradford said. “If you actually do the math, that’s not really accurate.”
In typical United States dairy rations, forages supply at least a third of the energy. Bradford believes this is limiting.
The formula by which a dairy operation maximizes milk production is simple: When cows eat more alfalfa, they produce more milk. According to David Combs, professor of dairy science at the University of Wisconsin, striving for maximum dietary fiber in the forage is the secret.
Above average rainfall, large number of fires throughout the region, increased temperatures, stress leading to leaf loss and pest pressure have all contributed to alfalfa quality issues in the western United States in 2016. Emily Glunk, Montana State University, explained how these issues im…
Alfalfa production in the Northwest is pretty similar to the Midwest, except for a shorter growing season. It is a big challenge to pack as much quality alfalfa into a short season, and it starts with getting a good stand from the start. Farmers participating in a panel discussion at Alfalfa…
Alfalfa producers at the Dodge City Alfalfa U agree attention to detail at planting is the first step for managing alfalfa for quality and longevity.