Alfalfa has long been known as the “Queen of Forages,” recognized as the premier source of energy, protein, fiber and minerals for high-producing dairy cattle. With so much focus on its benefits as a high-quality dairy feed, however, alfalfa can often be thought of as “too good” for beef cattle. Nothing could be further from the truth. While beef cows and growing cattle have lower dietary protein needs than lactating dairy cows, few forages surpass alfalfa’s value as a high-energy, high-protein feed source.
To provide a comprehensive overview of the advantages of feeding alfalfa hay to beef cows, the National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA) has recently updated and released “Alfalfa for Beef Cows,” serving as a quick and handy guide to everything livestock farmers should know about feeding alfalfa to beef cows. Some of the publication’s highlights include:
• Why Consider Alfalfa for Beef Cattle?
• Alfalfa as a Protein Source
• Harvest Management of Alfalfa
• Utilizing Alfalfa in Beef Herds
• Breeding and Selection of Alfalfa
“Alfalfa is most often thought of as the premier forage for dairy cattle,” said Beth Nelson, NAFA president. “But alfalfa’s contribution as a high energy, high protein feed source in a well-managed, nutrient-dense beef cattle diet is critically important as well.”
In addition to discussing alfalfa’s dietary energy content, vitamin and mineral concentrations and dry matter content, “Alfalfa for Beef Cows” also covers stand persistence, alfalfa-bermudagrass mixtures and the use of alfalfa for grazing.
This publication is intended as a resource for both livestock producers and hay farmers as a useful educational tool to provide valuable information to their regular customers and to potential buyers. Get your copy today.
“Alfalfa for Beef Cows” is available to order for $2 per copy in print form or may be downloaded for free at alfalfa.org/publications.php.