• Oct 19, 2022

Now Is The Time To Invest In Advanced Alfalfa Genetics

Lush green alfalfa field with blue skies in backgroun
Milk prices peaked to an all-time high the spring of 2022 and, while they have come down a bit, they’re still higher than we’ve seen in a long time. With a little extra wiggle room in your checkbook, it is a great time to reinvest that margin into technologies like HarvXtra® alfalfa that can help advance your operation and set you up for larger potential returns down the road.
“Regardless of milk prices, I would encourage dairy producers to consider technologies like HarvXtra alfalfa that can help give them a positive return. While potentially challenging, using technologies to improve profitability during periods of low milk pricing is still beneficial,” explained Pat Barry, senior product support, animal nutrition, Forage Genetics International. “Now that milk is worth more, I would encourage dairies to use the opportunity to invest in technology that gives you a payback, as are most people who are diligent in guiding farms on their finances.”
The HarvXtra alfalfa trait is one of the most advanced on the market, developed to improve the quality of your alfalfa compared to conventional alfalfa at the same stage of maturity. Why does that matter? It offers growers unparalleled flexibility in how they manage their crop

Increased Flexibility

“In my career, I’ve witnessed a number of scenarios where someone gambles with the weather and loses,” shared Pat. “At times, alfalfa is harvested too early to try to put the crop in ahead of inclement weather, which leads to a forage inventory that is not fully matured and low in fiber. Or, they tried to beat it, the weather came in once they cut it, and it got rained on for three days. At that point, it won’t ferment properly, and there is higher potential for large leaf losses. In other situations, they may have waited to harvest once the weather passed and, since it was conventional, the quality decreased dramatically. In all three of those scenarios, they are left with a marginal hay crop to feed.”
With HarvXtra alfalfa, you don’t have to take such risky gambles.
The earlier you cut, the higher the quality, but the lower the yield. The later you cut, the higher the yield because the plant has had a chance to develop more biomass, but the lower the quality. HarvXtra keeps quality for longer so you can wait out rain with less worry. In fact, you can add up to 10 days to your cutting window without sacrificing forage quality compared to conventional alfalfa cut at the same maturity.

Gained Efficiencies

“The agronomic inputs needed to manage HarvXtra are similar to conventional, but they go further when you get higher quality alfalfa at the same stage of maturity. Keep in mind that if you decide to use the HarvXtra trait to increase yields by delaying the cutting, you may need to increase the fertilizer provided. A cow making 100 pounds of milk eats more than a cow making 60 pounds,” noted Pat. “Plus, the herbicide cost with the Roundup Ready® trait that’s included in HarvXtra alfalfa is lower than conventional alfalfa.”
Many HarvXtra alfalfa growers even use the ability to delay the cutting to eliminate a cutting from their annual schedule. This saves time, money and energy while greatly increasing tonnage. 
To learn more, contact your local alfalfa dealer. 
Forage Genetics International, LLC. HarvXtra is a registered trademark of Forage Genetics International, LLC. Roundup Ready® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC, used under license by Forage Genetics International, LLC. HarvXtra® Alfalfa with Roundup Ready® Technology and Roundup Ready® Alfalfa are subject to planting and use restrictions. Visit ForageGenetics.com/legal for the full legal, stewardship and trademark statements for these products.

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Do you really know the quality of your alfalfa?
Article • Agronomic Information

Do you really know the quality of your alfalfa?