Alfalfa growers who remove their nurse crops as oatlage or barlage won't gain anything by using hull-less or beardless varieties.

That's according to Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin extension forage agronomist.

“Both are bred for grain, not for forage, so they tend to be shorter and lower-yielding than some of our better varieties,” he says.

The two new crops offer quality advantages over conventional varieties when harvested for grain. But the added quality doesn't show up when they're harvested before grain has formed.

“There's no advantage from a forage standpoint,” says Undersander.