University of Arizona a dot Cooperative Extension

Alfalfa Report
Yuma County, Arizona
February 9, 2004

Yuma County Office
2200 W. 28th Street, Ste. 102
Yuma, AZ 85364
(928) 726-3904
(928) 726-8472 FAX

Production Update:
Alfalfa Fiber: High fiber content in alfalfa is generally not desirable for feeding lactating dairy animals. However, a fiber content that is too low is theoretically possible. Alfalfa is valuable as an ingredient in diary rations because it does contain some fiber. The fiber in alfalfa slows the passage rate through the animal allowing more nutrients in the feed mixture to be digested and utilized.

Insect Management: Growers occasionally ask about the cause of puckered green leaves in their alfalfa (picture). Puckered, green leaves are symptoms of thrips feeding. Thrips are tiny insects (Detour signpicture) that feed on the surface of young leaves and bud tissue. The injury to the leaves is minor and quickly scars over. The scarred tissue does not grow as quickly as undamaged leaf tissue causing the leaves to pucker and curl. Thrips may be an important alternative food source for predaceous insects that help control more serious alfalfa insect pests. Presently there is no information on the economic importance of thrips in alfalfa and no control actions are recommended.

Weed Control: The most economical treatments for summer annual weeds are preemergence herbicides. These should be applied well ahead of possible germination times. Mid to late February is best. Weeds that have already germinated will not be controlled. What you see is what you don't get with preemergent herbicide.

Market Summary
Off grade
Past 2 Weeks (Jan 27 - Feb 9, 2004)
Last Year (Jan 27 - Feb 9, 2003)


10 Year Summary (Jan 27, to Feb 9, 1995-2004):

Full Disclaimers

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, James A. Christenson, Director Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Arizona.

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Information provided by:
Barry Tickes, Extension Agent, Yuma County
Michael Ottman, Agronomy Specialist
College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona.
Eric Natwick, UCCE Imperial County - Farm Advisor
University of California, Davis, CA.

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