Submitted to: Plant Growth Regulator Society of America Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/7/2011
Publication Date: 7/25/2011
Citation: Grabber, J.H., Vadas, P.A. 2011. Economics of growth regulator treatment of alfalfa seed for interseeding into silage corn [abstract]. Plant Growth Regulator Society of America. P4.
Technical Abstract: Previous studies have focused on interseeding of alfalfa into corn for use as a temporary cover crop rather than as a means of jump-starting alfalfa production after corn. In ongoing field studies, we are evaluating whether plant growth regulators (PGR) may be used to aid the establishment of interseeded alfalfa without limiting silage corn yields. This paper compares the economics of 4-year corn-corn-alfalfa-alfalfa rotations where PGR-treated alfalfa seed is planted with second year corn versus a conventional rotation where alfalfa is spring seeded in the third year. We used typical crop expense and income values and assumed alfalfa interseeding would boost alfalfa yields in the third year by 80% compared to conventional spring seeding. Sensitivity analyses examined how PGR costs, alfalfa stand failure, and corn yield reductions influenced profitability. Depending on assumptions, the use of PGR-treated alfalfa should increase profitability of corn-alfalfa rotations by about $50 to $100 per hectare.