Managing Roundup-ready alfalfa: weed control

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By Rick Greenwell

Weed Control: An initial application of glyphosate between emergence and the fourth trifoliolate growth stage is important to establish a thick and productive alfalfa stand.

It is important to understand that the trait purity for Genuity Roundup Ready Alfalfa is 90 percent or greater. This means that up to 10 percent of the plants in a newly seeded crop will not contain the gene that provides tolerance to Roundup brand agricultural herbicides. Expect that the first application of glyphosate will result in up to 10 percent of the emerged plants dying. This is a normal occurrence due to the complex genetic nature of alfalfa and the breeding practices required to integrate the Genuity Roundup Ready gene into the plant. The remaining plants will quickly grow to fill any gaps, resulting in a thick and productive stand.

In the vast majority of trials comparing Genuity Roundup Ready Alfalfa vs. conventional alfalfa (treated with glyphosate vs. conventional herbicides), there is a significant establishment year advantage in both yield potential and quality. This is a result of the improved weed control and crop safety through the Roundup Ready system. Most growers reported that establishment year yield and forage quality benefits outweighed the cost of the Genuity Roundup Ready Alfalfa technology.

Jan. 1 cattle inventory down 2 percent
All cattle and calves in the United States as of Jan. 1, 2013 totaled 89.3 million head, 2 percent below the 90.8 million on Jan. 1, 2012. This is the lowest January 1 inventory of all cattle and calves since the 88.1 million on hand in 1952.

All cows and heifers that have calved, at 38.5 million, were down two percent from the 39.4 million on Jan. 1, 2012. This is the lowest January 1 inventory of all cows and heifers that have calved since the 36.8 million head in 1941.

Calf Crop Down Three Percent - The 2012 calf crop was estimated at 34.3 million head, down three percent from 2011. This is the smallest calf crop since the 33.7 million born during 1949. Calves born during the first half of 2012 are estimated at 25.0 million, down three percent from 2011. (SOURCE: Released February 1, 2013, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).