This March - Check Your Fields

How to determine the extent of winter injury to your stands following the high risk period of January and February.
This March - Check Your Fields - Articles


  1. Check all alfalfa fields when temperatures begin to warm up and legumes and grasses begin to regrow.
  2. Look over the entire stand to get a feeling of uniformity or unevenness.
  3. Look closely at several sites in each field.
  4. Observe existing and developing buds, shoots, crows and roots.
  5. Look for bright green shoots and healthy buds and firm creamy, white taproots.

Check stands more than one time as plants may green up and then later die off. Other stands may develop more slowly.

Stem Counts

These are used to evaluate yield potential of alfalfa stands. Make a frame of wire one foot square. Toss the frame into a stand and then count the number of stems within this square foot area. Stands with greater than 55 stems/ft² will have highest yield potential. Stands with 40 to 55 stems/ft² will have a yield loss and stands with less than 40 stems/ft² should be considered for rotation.