Alfalfa

Haley Klein

Description

Alfalfa is a leguminous plant with clover-like leaves and bluish flowers. Native to southwestern Asia. Alfalfa is widely grown for animal feed. The process of alfalfa growing is; seed, germination, emergence, cotyledon, unifoliolate, first trifoliolate, third trifoliolate.

Growing

Alfalfa is grown in almost every state in America. It grows best in deep, rich, well-drained soil. However, it will adapt to almost any soil and climate. The soil must be rich in calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Soils with low pH levels must have added lime to the soil.

Harvesting

When harvesting alfalfa; the farmer cuts it, then rakes it into rows, come back after awhile to flip the alfalfa over to that side dry out, then the farmer will bail the alfalfa for animals.

Pests

Alfalfa caterpillars consume the entire leaves of the plant. The best way to control the alfalfa caterpillar is to use non-selective insecticides against caterpillars in the summer.

Uses

  • Animal feed
  • Pills- asthma, arthritis, diabetes, etc.
  • Malnutrition
  • Prolonged illness
  • Lowers cholestrol

Fun Facts

  • Alfalfa is the 4th most widely grown crop in the United States
  • The nickname for alfalfa is the "Queen of forages"
  • In Arabic it's name means "father of all foods