University of Arizona a dot Cooperative Extension

Alfalfa Report
Yuma County, Arizona
August 23, 2004

(PDF version, 23KB)

Production Update:

National Alfalfa Symposium: The National Alfalfa Symposium will be held in San Diego December 13-15, 2004. This symposium is a more national version of the annual California Alfalfa Symposium with several topics of broad interest, but many of the topics are regional in nature. Information for this symposium can be found at

Insect Management: Alfalfa is a major acreage crop in the low desert and a major reservoir of beneficial insects. Alfalfa in bloom provides pollen and nectar for honey bees and other species of bees. Alfalfa also is a home for many predaceous bugs (Detour sign pictures) such as assassin bugs, bigeyed bugs, damsel bugs, and minute pirate bugs. These predaceous insects along with several species of spiders feed on many pest insects in alfalfa such as beet armyworm and alfalfa caterpillar. In addition, several parasitic insects are at home in alfalfa, such as Hyposoter exiguae (Detour sign picture), a wasp parasite of beet armyworm, and Cotesia medicaginis (Detour sign picture), a parasite of alfalfa caterpillar. Therefore, alfalfa should never be treated with an insecticide that will kill beneficial insects unless the crop is threatened with sever loss by pest insects. Destroying these beneficial insects often leads to severe outbreaks of other insect pests

Weed Control: All of the preplant herbicides registered for use in alfalfa can cause crop injury. These include Eptam and Balan. Trifluralin (Treflan) will reduce the new stand by 40 to 60% if put on prior to crop emergence. Prowl is not registered on alfalfa and will also hurt new seedlings if it is not incorporated.

Market Summary
Off grade
Past 2 Weeks ( 2004)
Last Year ( 2003)


10 Year Summary (August 10, to August 23, 1995-2004):

Graph of the 10 year summary prices for alfalfa, August 10 to August 23, 1995-2004

Full Disclaimers

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, James A. Christenson, Director Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Arizona.

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Information provided by:
Barry Tickes, Extension Agent, Yuma County
Michael Ottman, Agronomy Specialist
College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona.
Eric Natwick, UCCE Imperial County - Farm Advisor
University of California, Davis, CA.

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