- Dog gone it's hot! This is expected in our Central Valley at this time of year, but when heat waves hit, it's important to be prepared with good irrigation management practices in alfalfa hay production. Can alfalfa tolerate extreme heat? The short answer is 'yes'. Alfalfa is originally from the Middle Eastern regions of Turkey, Iran, and Central Asia, so it is well adapted to hot, dry conditions. It's also routinely grown in the hot deserts of Arizona, Southern California and Mexico.
- Yikes, my weed control didn't work! It's springtime and you're looking at your seedling alfalfa field that you planted late last fall. You have a great stand, but you're not quite satisfied with the level of weed control despite an earlier herbicide application. You still see weeds out there, including bristly oxtongue, thistles, mustard, dandelion, and fiddleneck. You know that weed infestations can weaken young alfalfa plants, retard growth, delay the first cutting, reduce quality, and result in long term damage to crop yield and stand persistence. The field is still a seedling stand, considered as such until at least the first hay cutting (around the 6-9 leaf stage and a crown is forming). The plants in your stand are only 3-6 inches tall and you see some new, late germinating seedlings that you want to keep, perhaps delayed by the lack of rain and long, dry, cold spell last winter. The field is not Roundup Ready and you're looking for some post-emergent herbicide options. What should you use?
- Adult Huacaya alpaca (mixed sex, mean±S.D., age 5.2±2.7 years, live weight 72.0±9.5 kg) were grazed with Peppin Merino sheep (castrated male, age 3±0.1 years, live weight 54.0±3.9 kg) for 2 years on improved annual pasture at commercial grazing pressures (10–17 dry sheep equivalents/ha) near Melbourne, Australia. Alpacas and sheep gained weight during the first year and then lost weight (proportional loss: alpacas 22%, sheep 20%, NS) before commencing weight gain. Twice the alpacas gained when the sheep lost weight (P
- The aim of being successful as a grazier requires the manager to be successful in the task of growing grass. Growing grass is the engine room in driving the profitability and sustainability of the grazing system. Once grass can be grown then it is up to the capacity of the manager to maximize the benefit of this resource. It is very important to understand what the ideal requirements of the animal are, how much energy they require and what the pastures can achieve at various stages of growth. It should always be the objective of the manager to keep the animals above a reasonable condition score in order to maintain the animals' productivity, their capacity to breed, and their capacity to maximize weight gain and fibre production.