The growth and development of alfalfa is affected by many factors, including temperature, soil moisture, stand age and even cultivar. Alfalfa growth has been slower than normal due to cool conditions in April. This is a good reminder that using a calendar date to determine when to harvest the first crop of alfalfa may not the best method. In order to accurately predict the optimal time for the first cutting, the University of Wisconsin developed the Predictive Equations for Alfalfa Quality (PEAQ) method.
A personal weather station is simply integrated “tools” that measure weather variables such as temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed and direction, soil moisture, and leaf wetness. Some are affordable enough to install at your own farm which will give the most accurate representation for the weather in your farm.
Produce growers may not grow the same quantity of product as row crop producers, but tracking the numbers is just as important, if not more so. This Ag Decision Maker article and its corresponding publication outline the importance of good record keeping and offer links to budget worksheets and decision tools.
A new breeding program at Iowa State University is helping farmers looking to diversify their production system. The program, which is being overseen by Arti Singh, adjunct assistant professor in agronomy at Iowa State, is exploring the ways green gram and black gram can be used to accelerate productivity and profitability.