Farmers are reporting varying levels of winterkill in alfalfa. University of Minnesota Extension crops educator Jared Goplen says the worst cases are in the central part of the state, east towards Wisconsin. A larger part of Minnesota is dealing with spotty alfalfa stands. “A lot of fields had water standing for a month or two, so alfalfa in those areas has died,” says Goplen. “The other issue is on hilltops where there was poor snow cover.” When scouting alfalfa fields, Goplen recommends looking at both good and bad areas. The crop could be just slower to develop in some cases. “Dig up plants and look at the roots. We’re aiming for 55 stems per square foot or more with stands to meet maximum production.” Additional resources for assessment can be found here.
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