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Alfalfa winterkill a problem for farmers

Alfalfa winterkill a problem for farmers Click to Enlarge Photo: EbertStudios, Photos.com

Jun 5, 2013 at 11:00 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Thousands of dairy farmers in Minnesota and Wisconsin have an expensive problem. They've lost nearly 2 million acres of alfalfa to the long, icy winter.

The protein-rich alfalfa is an important source of feed for their cows, and it normally emerges after winter. Last year's drought weakened the plants and the hard winter killed many of them.

Farmers normally can harvest three or four cuts of alfalfa in a normal summer. But this year farmers who have to replant will be lucky if they get one or two cuts.

Lisa Behnkin, a regional extension educator at the University of Minnesota Extension, says it's put farmers in a dire state. They're scrambling to buy feed from other states.

Mike Tanner

Posted By Mike Tanner

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