Why Add Grass with Alfalfa?

Do you use a grass blend in your alfalfa stands? If not, here are some reasons to add grass to your alfalfa

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Stand Benefits

  1. A combination of grasses meant for dry hay mixed in with alfalfa will dry down faster when cut than pure alfalfa helping to protect your hay from rain damage.
  2. Grass fills in gaps caused by standing water, alfalfa winterkill or alfalfa thinning over time creating less open space for weeds to establish.
  3. Grass is less susceptible to wheel traffic damage and can help extend the longevity of a stand.
  4. Adding a grass blend to your alfalfa can have higher yields than pure alfalfa.
  5. Having grass in your stand that can last over time creates a thicker root system providing greater erosion control.
  6. Grasses can also be added later on to thinning alfalfa stand to extend the lifespan of the stand

Forage Quality Benefits

  1. Mixtures of grass and alfalfa meet forage requirements of beef cows better than pure alfalfa when looking at total digestible nutrients and crude protein.
  2. The addition of grasses increases the content of quality, digestible fiber in the forage.
  3. Grasses in the stand can reduce the risk of acidosis and bloat.

Convinced yet? On top of all of this, having diversity in species and root types is always beneficial to soil health and feeding your biology.  Overall, the benefits of adding a grass with your alfalfa stands outweigh a pure alfalfa stand.