Submitted to: Agricultural Research Service Station Bulletin
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 1994
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Farmers need greater flexibility in the crops they grow in rotation. Nitro alfalfa is a non-dormant variety that establishes rapidly and produces about five tons of hay or equivalent when spring seeded. Although nitro alfalfa was not designed to be grown as a perennial, field tests have shown that it can provide high yields of good quality livestock feed the second, third and fourth successive seasons. Regrowth is so rapid that green-chopping is better than curing the crop for baling. Nitro alfalfa is a good alternative crop for annual and perennial production in southern Idaho and similar areas.
Technical Abstract: Nitro alfalfa was spring seeded and its production measured for the seeding year and three successive years. The non-dormant alfalfa variety produced about 5 tons per acre of feed calculated at 13% moisture content in three different seeding year trials, and one stand produced 11,1, 7.3 and 7.6 tons per acre the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th seasons. This compares favorably with the dormant alfalfa varieties being grown in the study area. The protein content ranged from a low of 18% to a high of 25.4%, with the highest values in the last cutting each season. After the seeding year, four or five cuttings were made each season. This variety should be cut before blooming begins to assure the best quality animal feed.