Main concerns about alfalfa production during this time of the year are the potential for winter injury and winter kill. In this article, a description of factors that affect alfalfa plants is discussed.

Winter Injury: Idetification tips

Here are some tips that will help you get started on where to look for possible winter injury:

  • Stands which are slow to green up. 
    Compare your stand to other fields in the area.  If you notice that some areas are starting to grow and other areas of your alfalfa field still brown, it is time to check those brown stands for injury or death.
  • Winter-killed roots will have a gray appearance. 
    If the root is soft and water can be easily squeezed from it, or it has a brown color, it is a possible sign of winter cold-related death.
  • Asymmetrical growth and uneven growth.
    These are also two indicators of winter injury. Compare the shoots on the same plant, and if you notice that one set of shoots seems to be drastically outperforming another in terms of growth, it could be that winter cold damaged the bud structure of your plants.

 

Top 6 Winter Kill Factors