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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

Tag Archives: alfalfa

A warm weather pattern in late February caused soil temperatures across most of Iowa to rise above 40 degrees F.  ISUEO Agronomist Brian Lang notes that this is was likely warm enough long enough for alfalfa and some forage grasses (most ryegrass varieties and the less winterhardy orchardgrass and tall fescue varieties) to break dormancy.  However, when low temperatures recur, alfalfa plants can reharden to a degree, but only to the extent that it still has stored carbohydrates available. Winter injury occurs either with enough warm-cold cycles to use up the carbohydrates, or if the temperature drops so rapidly that the plant does not have time to sufficiently reharden.

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As I have been traveling in NW Iowa, I’m seeing standing water in fields and am wondering what how unusual warm temperatures will effect the stands. ISUEO Agronomist Brian Lang send out this link- it has lots of good information:

http://agronomy.wisc.edu/2014/09/04/fall-alfalfa-management-can-make-or-break-survival-says-dan-undersander/

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