Depends on Harvest Intervals

In a recent study published in Crop, Forage, and Turfgrass Management, researchers investigated the effect of harvest intervals on the persistence of alfalfa, either as a monoculture or mixed with grasses Four harvest intervals were imposed on all species combinations.

The team found that longer alfalfa harvest intervals in the south­eastern U.S. resulted in positive outcomes. They also observed that growing alfalfa in mixtures with tall fescue resulted in the greatest forage mass and nutritive value. The results from this study suggest that harvesting alfalfa at 42-day intervals produces the maximum amount of alfalfa productivity and persistence.

Adapted from Quinby, M.P., Nave, R.L.G., Bates, G.E., & McIntosh, D. {2020). Harvest interval effects on persistence and productivity of alfalfa grown as a monoculture or in mixtures in the southeastern U.S. Crop, Forage & Turfgrass Management, 6.