Irrigated Alfalfa Management for Mediterranean and Desert Zones Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources website University of California website

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This 24-chapter publication is designed to provide detailed, scientifically-based comprehensive information about the growth, production, management, and utilization of alfalfa grown under irrigation.

This is a practical guide for alfalfa growers and industry partners, and is a companion to the University of California publication Intermountain Alfalfa Management, focused on the high-elevation valleys of the Intermountain West. 

More: Overview of this publication

#   Chapter Title
  Introduction—Irrigated Alfalfa Management for Mediterranean and Arid Zones
  Dedication to Vern Marble
Alfalfa Production Systems in California
Daniel H. Putnam, Charles G. Summers, Steve B. Orloff
Choosing Appropriate Sites for Alfalfa Production
Steve B. Orloff
Alfalfa Growth and Development
Shannon C. Mueller, Larry R. Teuber
Alfalfa Stand Establishment
Shannon C. Mueller, Carol A. Frate, Marsha Campbell Mathews
Choosing an Alfalfa Variety
Daniel H. Putnam, Steve B. Orloff, Larry R. Teubur
Alfalfa Fertilization Strategies
Roland D. Meyer, Daniel B. Marcum, Steve B. Orloff, Jerry L. Schmierer
Irrigating Alfalfa in Arid Regions
Blaine R. Hanson, Khaled M. Bali, Blake L. Sanden
Weed Management in Alfalfa
Mick Canevari, Ron V. Vargas, Steve B. Orloff
Managing Insects in Alfalfa
Charles G. Summers, Larry D. Godfrey, Eric T. Natwick
Alfalfa Diseases and Management
Carol A. Frate, R. Michael Davis
Parasitic Nematodes in Alfalfa
Becky B. Westerdahl, Carol A. Frate
Integrated Management of Vertebrate Pests in Alfalfa
Desley A. Whisson, Terrell P. Salmon
Harvest Strategies for Alfalfa
Steve B. Orloff, Daniel H. Putnam
Harvest: Curing Preservation, and Storage
Steve B. Orloff, Shannon C. Mueller
Managing Older or Depleted Alfalfa Stands
Mick Canevari, Daniel H. Putnam
Forage Quality and Testing
Daniel H. Putnam, Peter Robinson, Ed DePeters
Alfalfa Utilization by Livestock
Gerald E. Higginbotham, Carolyn L. Stull, Nyles G. Peterson, Anne V. Rodiek, Barbara A. Reed, Juan N. Guerrero
Alfalfa Grazing Management
Carlos A. Cangiano, Alejandro R. Castillo, Juan N. Guerrero, Daniel H. Putnam
Alfalfa for Industrial and Other Uses
Shannon C. Mueller, Dan J. Undersander, Daniel H. Putnam
Lagoon Water, Manures and Biosolids Applied to Alfalfa
Ronald D. Meyer, Blake L. Sanden, Khaled M. Bali
Producing Alfalfa Hay Organically
Rachael F. Long, Roland D. Meyer, Steve B. Orloff
Alfalfa Seed Production in California
Shannon C. Mueller
Alfalfa Marketing and Economics
Karen Klonsky, Barbara Reed, Daniel H. Putnam
Diagnostic Key to Problems in Alfalfa
Charles G. Summers
bottom table rule

We welcome the use of the web version of these documents, as long as the origin of the material is acknowledged. However, these documents may not be used, copied, or reprinted for commercial use without the permission of the authors and editors.

For questions or comments, contact the authors (see individual chapters) or editors (Charlie Summers, or Dan Putnam, 

Additional information on alfalfa may also be found at and for pest management on alfalfa at

Many thanks to our sponsors!
Platinum Sponsors
Bowles Farming Image
Bowles Farming Company, Inc.
Los Banos, CA
NAFA Image
National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance
St. Paul, MN
Gold Sponsors
Ag Seed Unlimited Image CAFA Image
Ag-Seeds Unlimited
Woodland, CA
California Alfalfa & Forage Association
Novato, CA
Croplan Genetics Image Dairyland Seed Image
Croplan Genetics
St. Paul, MN
Dairyland Seed Co., Inc.
Sloughhouse, CA
Farm Science / Allied Seed Image Lockwood Seed and Grain Image
Farm Science Genetics / Allied Seed LLC.
Nampa, ID
Lockwood Seed & Grain
Chowchilla, CA
Monsanto Image New Mexico Hay Association Image
St. Louis, MO
New Mexico Hay Association
Dexter, NM
Pioneer Hi-Bred Image Producer's Choice Seed Image
Pioneer Hi-Bred
Johnstown, IA
Producer's Choice Seed
Woodland, CA
Valley Irrigation WL Research Image
Valley Irrigation
Valley, NE
WL Research
Madison, WI
Silver Sponsors
Americas Alfalfa, Los Banos, CA
Bayer CropScience CA/AZ District Team, Kingsburg, CA
Dr. Vern L. & Mary H. Marble, Davis, CA
Eureka Seeds, Woodland, CA
Gillespie Ag Service, Porterville, CA
Hastings Island Land Company, Rio Vista, CA
Imperial Valley Seeds, Inc., Holtville, CA
Inland Tarp & Cover, Inc., Moses Lake, WA
Kuhn Farms, Seeley, CA
NK/Syngenta Seeds, Minneapolis, MN
Ranier Seeds, Davenport, WA
S&W Seed Company, Five Points, CA
Silverado Ranch Supply, Yerington, NV
TS&L Seeds, Woodland, CA
Valent-Chateau Herbicide Stewardship Program, Walnut Creek, CA
Verdegaal Brothers Inc., Hanford, CA
Green Sponsors
Amvac Chemical Corporation, Los Angeles, CA
Bueno Seed Co./Agrobiotech Mexico, Torreon, Mexico
Cal Poly Pomona - College of Agriculture
Chemtura Corporation, Fresno, CA
Ferguson Farms, Inc., Stockton, CA
Imperial Valley Milling Co., Holtville, CA
Irrometer Company, Riverside, CA
Stinger, Ltd., Hanes, KS
T-L Irrigation, Hastings, NE
Zen-Raku-Ren, San Francisco, CA
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