North Dakota State University
Addressing Soil Potassium Deficiencies Part 1
Potassium is a key nutrient in alfalfa. Alfalfa extracts 50 to 60 pounds of potassium per ton of alfalfa. If yield is 5 tons per acre, the K extraction from the soil is 250 to 300 pounds of potassium per acre. Apply potassium after the first cut.
Dr. Marisol Berti leads the Forages, Cover Crops, and Biomass Crop Production project in the Department of Plant Sciences at North Dakota State University. Berti conducts research on forages and cover crops, working with alfalfa management, cover crop production for grazing, interseeding cover crops in corn and soybean along with including perennial phases in crop rotations. She is part of the board of the Midwest Forage Association, Midwest Cover Crops Council, and Crop Science Society of America, and the project director of a 3.7 million USDA-NIFA federal grant “A Novel Management Approach to Increase Productivity, Resilience, and Long-Term Sustainability in Cropping Systems in the Midwest.”
University of Wyoming,
Potassium in Alfalfa Part 2
For improved productivity, potassium can play an important role in alfalfa production systems. However, sustaining higher alfalfa yields has not been accomplished by potassium fertilization alone. Potassium fertilization based on harvest schedules has potential to increase and sustain alfalfa production.
Anowar Islam is a professor and forage specialist at the Department of Plant Sciences of University of Wyoming. He received his Ph.D. in Forage Agronomy from University of Sydney, Australia; M.S. from Institute of Postgraduate Studies in Agriculture, Bangladesh; and B.S. from Bangladesh Agricultural University. Islam received extensive postdoctoral trainings as a forage agronomist at the Noble Foundation, Oklahoma; Miyazaki University, Japan; and Sydney University, Australia.
His research and outreach activities aim to develop modern and innovative research and outreach programs on Forage Agronomy that includes: germplasm search and evaluation for selection/cultivar development; establishment and best management practices for profitable and sustainable forage and livestock production; grazing management and integration with cropping systems; establishment and incorporation of legumes (e.g., alfalfa, sainfoin, birdsfoot trefoil; cicer milkvetch, medics) into the grass systems; alternative/multipurpose use of forages, e.g., bioenergy crops (switchgrass, tall fescue), specialty crops (fenugreek, quinoa, field peas, chickpea, yacon), small grains (wheat, barley, rye, triticale, sorghums, maize); forage nutritive value and seed production. Islam teaches courses (e.g., Forage Crop Science, Internship in Agroecology, Research in Crops, Research Apprenticeship, Thesis Research, Dissertation Research), advises undergraduate students, and mentors graduate students and postdocs.
Colorado State University
Strategies for Growing Alfalfa with Less Water
Alfalfa is often considered a high water use crop but in reality is very drought tolerant. This trait can be exploited in situations where irrigation water is limited. Strategies such as deficit and limited or partial-season irrigation will be discussed in relationship to effects on alfalfa yield, forage quality, and stand persistence/health.
Joe grew up in south central Kansas on a small dryland wheat and livestock operation. All three of his degrees are in range management with emphasis on grazing management for both his master’s and Ph.D. He has worked in the shortgrass, mid-grass, and tallgrass prairies, the Nebraska Sandhills, and high elevation mountain shrub and grasslands. He gained experience working with improved forages in both the subirrigated hay meadows of the Nebraska Sandhills and the mountain hay meadows of western Colorado.
For the past 14 years, he has served as the Extension Forage Specialist for Colorado. Working with improved forages has allowed him to combine his interests in agronomy with pasture and livestock production. He is particularly interested in livestock-plant interactions, selection of forage species for different objectives, seeding methodology, improving forage quality by interseeding legumes into grass stands, Management-intensive Grazing, and using alternative forages for extending the grazing season.
Colorado State University
Alfalfa Hay and Feed Grains Market Outlook for 2021
2021 commodity markets promise to be different and better than the prior two years. Demand is surging and production looks to be impacted by current weather patterns. Hay prices will be pulled higher by this demand and pushed higher with dryness. There will be good marketing opportunities.
Stephen Koontz is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University. He works in the areas of commodity marketing, risk management, market price analysis, and agribusiness industrial organization. His interests are in commercial agriculture production and marketing and the functioning agribusinesses. His responsibilities at Colorado State University include outreach, teaching, and research.