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What to look for when evaluating alfalfa stands

WISCONSIN: Now is a great time to evaluate your alfalfa stands. We are seeing both heaving and winter kill in parts of central and western Wisconsin.The photo above was taken this week in the Marshfield area on heavy soils where heaving is more prevalent.

The following photos were also taken this week, but on the western side of the state, which has sandier soils where we’re seeing different amounts of winter kill and root damage. These first two photos show a plant that is just starting to come out of dormancy and may look poor but actually has a perfectly healthy root.

alfalfa sllow to break dormancy_blog_NHLhealthy ralfalfa root_blog_NHL

This next photo shows the reverse: a healthy-looking plant that upon closer inspection has signs of root rot. Notice the browning. This will not be a top-producing plant.

Healthy looking Alfalfa with root rot_blog_NHLAlfalfa looks good bad root_blog_NHL

And finally, we have an example of a dead plant.

Alfalfa root dead_blog_NHL

Remember, it’s a lot easier to manage fields now and make plans for other forage options than it is to find out too late! Contact your local Syngenta representative for help evaluating stands and for any other alfalfa seed or corn silage-related needs and recommendations.

All photos are the property of Syngenta unless otherwise noted.

Reporting from Osseo, WI

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