Alfalfa

Learn about Alfalfa planting, tillage, irrigation, economics, pests, disease, and weeds.

General Information

Cover Crops for Utah

The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide the current state of knowledge on cover crop management for Utah based on USU research and local grower experience.


Planting


Tillage

The Ten Most Common Mistakes in Using No-Till

Interest in no-till (NT) crop production practices has increased greatly among Utah farmers and ranchers in recent years. The primary benefits of implementing a cropping system with little or no tillage includes improved soil quality (improved soil moistu...


Irrigation

25 Rules of Thumb for Field Crops

University Extension services are widely known for scientific information on best practices for field crop production. Many Extension experts commonly offer the same tips or "rules of thumb" to growers. This article is certainly not a comprehensive list o...

4R’s of Irrigation Management

The research community and fertilizer industry have developed and utilized a framework termed “4R nutrient management” to help improve fertilizer stewardship. For decades, national and international organizations and institutes such as The Fertilizer Inst...

Defense Against Drought

Utah’s climate can often be harsh and unpredictable. As the nation’s second driest state, Utah is commonly subject to droughts. Extensive statewide droughts have often lasted 5 to 6 years. It is imperative that farmers are well prepared to defend against ...

Drought Tolerance Guide for Alfalfa in Utah

Crop variety selection is one of the most important choices on the farm. Crop genetics determine a significant portion of the yield potential and resource use efficiency. Crop types and genetics that use water more efficiently will become increasingly imp...

Energy Conservation with Irrigation Water Management

Irrigators in Utah experienced rapidly increasing energy costs from the mid 1970s to the late 1980s. These costs remain relatively high. Those who are pumping from deep wells are particularly interested in ways to cut back on energy use without doing away...

How Good is Your Water Measurement?

Accurate water measurement is essential to maintaining equity of water delivery within an irrigation company or water districts. Good management of our scarce water resource is dependent upon quantifying supplies and uses with accurate measurement techniq...

Irrigation Canal Lining?

Irrigation canals placed in native soil or lined with earth can have seepage water losses varying from 20 percent to more than 50 percent. Well designed, new compacted earth lined canals can have reduced seepage losses similar to concrete lined channels. ...

Irrigation Water Loss and Recovery in Utah

When deciding which irrigation systems to adopt, permit, or promote, it is important to consider how their efficiency and losses affect the water balance of Utah’s watersheds and drainage basins. Irrigators have no control over precipitation and only limi...

Mobile Drip Irrigation for Pivots and Laterals

New technologies like MDI have the potential to improve irrigation efficiency thereby increasing water available to the crop and conserving water by reducing loss. If you are considering MDI on your farm, it will be important to carefully review its poten...

Strategies for Deficit Irrigation of Forage Crops

Deficit irrigation strategies with varying effectiveness can be employed in many cases to maximize production and profit. These strategies can include modifying irrigation schedules, concentrating irrigation to critical crop growth stages, reducing rates,...


Economics


Pests

Alfalfa Stem Nematode

Alfalfa Stem Nematode (ASN) is a nearly microscopic roundworm that enters the alfalfa plant and lives in the stems and leaves, usually above ground. Under ideal conditions (wet weather in late winter or early spring, at 59-70°F), ASN can complete its life...

Alfalfa Weevil (Hypera postica G.)

The alfalfa weevil is a major pest throughout Utah. It is a beetle with one generation per year. Eggs hatch in the spring and the grub-like immature weevils (larvae) feed by chewing on the alfalfa foliage. In high numbers, alfalfa weevils can cause severe...

Aphids in Alfalfa

Aphids belong in the order Hemiptera and family Aphididae. Aphids are common insects in field and forage crops, with at least six kinds in Utah alfalfa. Aphids can be distinguished from other insects in alfalfa with a hand lens. In general, aphids are sof...

Boom Sprayer Calibration for Pesticide Applications

To protect your investment in agricultural pesticides, a boom sprayer should be calibrated at the start of the season and whenever application conditions change. Also, sprayer output should be periodically checked throughout the season to assure proper ap...

Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers are among the most conspicuous insects in Utah and are viewed by many as also among the most injurious to our crops and rangelands. We must also understand that because outbreaks can occur simultaneously across the landscape, suppression prog...


Disease

Downy Mildew of Alfalfa

Downy mildew is an obligate parasite. Even though they look like fungi they are not. They belong to the Oomycota and are more closely related to algae than true fungi. The most common alfalfa downy mildew species in the USA is Peronospora trifoliorum. In ...


Fertility

Cover Crops for Utah

The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide the current state of knowledge on cover crop management for Utah based on USU research and local grower experience.

Fertigation Facts

The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide general information on forms of fertigation for primary plant nutrient, fertigation timing, and fertigation economics.

Measuring and Building Soil Health

Scientific communities have researched and debated the issues and benefits of soil sustainability and conservation for decades. From those efforts, “soil health” has emerged as the educational face of efforts to protect and improve the quality and product...


Weeds

Fortifying Farms and Ranches Against Weed Invasion

Although there is a lot of truth to the above statement, anyone who has made a living in agriculture on a farm or ranch would probably agree that the list of certainties could easily be expanded to include weeds. Since the time of the earliest U.S. settle...

Noxious Weed Field Guide for Utah

Invasive noxious weeds have been described as a raging biological wildfire – out of control, spreading rapidly, and causing enormous economic losses. Millions of acres in North America have been invaded or are at risk of being invaded by weeds, including ...