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Will The Cold Freeze Out Your Alfalfa Stand?

  Harsh temperatures and lack of snow cover in some parts of the country have forage producers worried about the 2014 crop.

Many livestock producers are questioning whether their alfalfa stands are at risk of winterkill. In early January, many fields were covered with 1-2 in. of solid ice, which may raise the risk of winterkill in alfalfa.

But snow cover and continued cold probably won't worsen winterkill and may actually protect alfalfa. So the answer is: "It depends."

How old is the stand? Alfalfa stands often become thin and less productive after the third year. Harsh winter conditions can exacerbate this decline with advancing age.  

Plants that are 1-2 years old are generally more stress-tolerant than older ones because they've been exposed to less physical damage and disease.   

To read more about winter weather concerns on an alfalfa stand, click here.


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