Legume establishment and harvest management in the U.S.A.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Selection of a harvest strategy is influenced by the importance of forage yield, forage quality, and stand persistence. While aspects of harvest management are important in determining persistence, it is influenced by plant, edaphic, and environmental factors. Plant factors which interact with alfalfa harvest management include variety winter hardiness and disease resistance, and stand age. The effect of a particular harvest system on seasonal legume forage DM yield and forage quality and on stand persistence is related to the morphological development of the crop at each harvest within the system. In the northern USA, fall cutting can pose a risk to legume stand persistence by reducing levels of stored carbohydrates and by removing stubble which can catch and hold snowfall. The risk of forage legume establishment failure is greater than for major crops. This risk is associated with small seed size and a lack of seedling vigor. No-till methods include interseeding, sod-seeding, frost-seeding, and topseeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPersistence of Forage Legumes
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780891182450
ISBN (Print)9780891180982
StatePublished - Nov 2 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1989 by the American Society of Agronomy, Inc. Crop Science Society of America, Inc. Soil Science Society of America, Inc.


  • Forage quality
  • Forage yield
  • Harvest management
  • Legume establishment constraints
  • Legume establishment strategies
  • No-till methods
  • Stand persistence
  • U.S.A.


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