Intermountain Research and Extension Center
Intermountain Research and Extension Center
Intermountain Research and Extension Center
University of California
Intermountain Research and Extension Center

Alfalfa Projects

Windrow Manipulation to Accelerate Alfalfa Drying Rate

Principle Investigator:  Steve Orloff, County Director/Farm Advisor, Siskiyou County, Yreka.

The objectives of this research are to:

  • Monitor and evaluate the drying conditions (environmental factors) at IREC compared with conditions in the Midwest to determine if there is an environmental reason why hay curing is accomplished faster in the Midwest, or if the primary driving factor is swath/windrow width.
  • Compare the drying rate of alfalfa cured under standard practices used in the intermountain area with those often used in the Midwest to determine if wider swaths can be used to accelerate curing.
  • Compare the drying rate for different cuttings using standard practices versus wider windrows for spring and summer cuttings
  • Evaluate alfalfa drying rate and "green-up" after cutting at IREC versus Scott Valley

Evaluations of Seed Coatings in Alfalfa

Principle Investigator:  Steve Orloff, County Director/Farm Advisor, Siskiyou County, Yreka; Dan Putnam, Extension Agronomist, Dept. of Plant Science, UC Davis.

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  • Evaluate the effect of different seed coating versus raw seed or fungicide-only treated seed on seedling vigor, initial stand, and early-season vigor.
  • Determine the effect of the various seed treatments mentioned above on alfalfa stand after the first season.
  • Evaluate the impact of these seed treatments on forage yield over the first and second production years.
  • Assess the economic value of seed-coating treatments

Evaluation of Sharpen (saflufenacil) Use in Established Alfalfa

Principle Investigator:  Steve Orloff, County Director/Farm Advisor, Siskiyou County, Yreka

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  • Evaluate the safety of Sharpen to alfalfa.
  • Determine whether crop phytotoxicity could be reduced with different application   timings.
  • Evaluate the efficacy of Sharpen for controlling the spectrum of weeds encountered in Intermountain alfalfa fields.

Alfalfa Variety Evaluation in Mountain Valleys of Northern California

Principle Investigator: Dan Putnam, Extension Agronomist, Dept. of Plant Science, UC Davis; Steve Orloff, County Director/Farm Advisor, Siskiyou County, Yreka; Craig Giannini, UC SRA, UC Davis

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  • Evaluate certified cultivar differences in alfalfa forage yield, quality, and persistence, and to communicate these results to clientele
  • Develop and provide forage yield and performance data on alfalfa experimental germplasm to public and private alfalfa scientists

Cutting Schedule Effects on Reduced Lignin & Conventional Alfalfa

Principle Investigator: Steve Orloff, County Director/Farm Advisor, Siskiyou County, Yreka; Dan Putnam, Extension Agronomist, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis

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  • Determine the effect of a 3-cut versus 4-cut harvest schedule on rate of forage quality change of genetically engineered low lignin alfalfa compared to the null that does not carry the trait and compared with a commercial standard
  • Determine the appropriate cutting management schedule for low-lignin alfalfa compared with conventional non-genetically engineered alfalfa

Alfalfa Germplasm Evaluation-Fall Dormancy

Principle Investigator: Charles Brummer, Director, Plant Breeding Center, UC Davis; Steve Orloff, County Director/Farm Advisor, Siskiyou County, Yreka; Dan Putnam, Extension Agronomist, Department of Plant Science, UC Davis.

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  • To develop a measurement method to assess dormancy in swards.
  • To evaluate fall dormancy of the standard check cultivars and selected other modern cultivars in both swards using the new protocol and in spaced plants using the current protocol.

Investigation of Glyphosate Injury to Roundup Ready Alfalfa

Principle Investigator: Steve Orloff, County Director/Farm Advisor, Siskiyou County, Yreka; Rob Wilson, Director/Farm Advisor, IREC, Tulelake.

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  • To better understand the conditions (environmental and management) that give rise to crop phytotoxicity from glyphosate.
  • To determine the effect of application timing, alfalfa growth stage, and age of the stand on alfalfa injury level.
  • To evaluate the effects of the degree of the frost, frost frequency, and the timing of the frost relative to the glyphosate application on the severity of the injury.
  • To evaluate whether these injury symptoms can occur in fall as well as spring.
  • To compare the susceptibility of different RR alfalfa cultivars.
  • To develop management practices that can be employed to avoid injury.
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