Alfalfa is a crop grown by farmers all over the world and is primarily used as feed for livestock. As a perennial plant, farmers can grow alfalfa on the same acre of land for several years in a row. The plant also has decent drought-tolerant characteristics.
More than 3 million alfalfa seeds can be planted on an acre because the seeds are so tiny. After the seed sprouts and grows, and before the flowering stage, the farmer chops off the plant and lets it dry in the field. After it dries, farmers collect the stalks, now known as hay, and most likely will feed it to livestock.
As a perennial, the plant will regrow, and the farmer will come through weeks later for another cutting of the alfalfa. In most areas, farmers can get 3-5 cuttings, but in of the more productive areas of the world, farmers may be able to get more than 10.
Alfalfa is the main source of feed for dairy cows because of its high protein value.
Monsanto offers farmers several alfalfa varieties in its seed brands. Within the past few years, Monsanto has begun offering Genuity® Roundup Ready® Alfalfa, which enables farmers the ability to use Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides on the crop to reduce weeds in an alfalfa field.
Source for the article:
UC-Davis Alfalfa Fact Sheet