Alfalfa growers in parts of the country enjoying another spate of warm weather shouldn’t get complacent about what that might mean for the 2012 growing season, warns University of Missouri Extension forage specialist Rob Kallenbach.
He wants Missouri growers to remember that killing freezes can occur well into April. As an example of how quickly fortunes can change, he recalls the Easter freeze of 2007. That April event killed much of the state’s alfalfa crop.
Keep in mind, he says, that growing points on alfalfa, as with all legumes, are at the top of the plant. The tender tip can be killed when temperatures drop below freezing. “Grass can withstand freezes as the growing point remains at ground level.”