A concise primer on how to make the best use of Roundup Ready alfalfa, who’s selling the seed and answers to common questions about the crop is housed in the March issue of Hay & Forage Grower, due in mailboxes around March 4 and currently online at hayandforage.com.
California and Wisconsin Extension forage agronomists recommend lower seeding rates using the transgenic crop, talk about the proper application timing of glyphosate and how best Roundup Ready alfalfa can be utilized. In a separate story, a Wisconsin weed scientist tells that applying glyphosate the previous fall will control perennial weeds in a spring-seeded crop; a spring application on new seedings will only give suppression.
In another article, seed company representatives answer grower concerns about seed quality, availability and the possibility of further lawsuits. Following that story is a listing of the currently marketed 38 Roundup Ready alfalfa varieties that have approval of the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies and National Alfalfa and Miscellaneous Legumes Variety Review Board. The table, from the National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance, shows how the varieties rate in winter survival, fall dormancy and pest resistance.
Hay prices are examined in two separate stories. Matt Dierson, South Dakota State University ag economist, and Seth Hoyt, of The Hoyt Report, predict an increased demand for high-quality alfalfa. Dierson details what will drive prices up over the year; Hoyt, who covers hay markets in the Western part of the country, talks about an improved dairy outlook there.
The issue also examines hay growers’ success at selling large square bales to the equine market. Two growers tell how they were able to prove to horse owners the efficiency, ease of handling and cost-effectiveness that a switch to big bales could bring.
A California cutting schedule study indicates that growers can get more bang for their bucks if they keep sharp eyes on the hay market. The researchers say cutting for yield when hay prices are high and quality when prices are low may garner more profit than keeping with the recommended 28-day standard cutting schedule.
Other stories include one on the benefits of using forage radish in a forage cocktail and another on the problem with feral hogs in New Mexico, Texas and other states.
To see these and other stories, log on to hayandforage.com. A digital version of the magazine can be accessed by clicking on the View the Digital Version logo in the upper right-hand part of the homepage, or click here. The text to all the stories in the March issue can be seen under the Most Recent Issue heading, or click here to view a list of the stories.