Alfalfa has often been replaced in rotations by corn silage, in part because corn produces greater forage dry matter yield than alfalfa. First year yields of spring-seeded alfalfa are particularly low, often being one-half that of subsequent full production years. Planting small grain, grass, or legume companion crops with alfalfa can modestly improve forage yields in the establishment year, but seeding companion crops with alfalfa often reduces forage quality. Thus new approaches are needed to increase the yield of alfalfa, especially during its first year of production.
Soil Science Extension
University of Wisconsin Madison