Lindsay Corporation, maker of Zimmatic by Lindsay irrigation systems, has released a new alfalfa profitability brochure called "Increasing Alfalfa and Other Forage Yields Through Efficient Irrigation Solutions."
The eight-page full-color brochure provides best practices and the latest research for achieving higher alfalfa yields, optimizing water use and lowering costs through precision irrigation.
“Alfalfa is one of the most important forage crops grown for hay in the world today,” says Steve Melvin, Irrigation Applications Specialist at Lindsay. “Irrigating alfalfa is different from irrigating annual grain crops since the objective is to produce a high yield of forage and not grain. With ample water, alfalfa has the ability produce high yields of very good quality feed that is high in protein.”
The brochure identifies management objectives for irrigated alfalfa, including the ideal soil water content in the root zone, when light or frequent irrigation is best, prevention of water runoff, irrigation before and after harvest, and how to prevent weeds from germinating.
Melvin says a lack of water at any stage of alfalfa growth will lower yield and cause the forage quality to peak in fewer days after harvest, and become overly mature faster than under normal conditions.
Grass and grass legume mixes and how to best use irrigation for maximum forage production and quality are also discussed in the brochure.
“The correct mix of grasses and legumes is one of the most important aspects of high production from irrigated pasture. The forage species that perform well in dryland conditions my not excel in irrigated conditions. Irrigating species that are poorly adapted to irrigation will never result in top production,” Melvin says.
The brochure contains colorful charts and graphs that show the relationship between alfalfa and forage yields and different irrigation amounts and how alfalfa and forage water requirements are related to the crop’s evapotranspiration (ET) rate at each stage of growth. Pivot options to increase water efficiency and maximize yields are also discussed.
More information and a free copy of the Lindsay alfalfa and forage profitability brochure is available here, or talk to your local Zimmatic dealer.