WASHINGTON AG NETWORK – GLENN VAAGEN – Many of the nation’s alfalfa producers may be feeling like Rodney Dangerfield, they get no respect.
Beth Nelson president of the National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance said more attention is needed for this crop. When people in agriculture talk about the “Big 5 Crops” in terms of value…they list in order corn, soy beans, wheat, cotton and rice.
“And yet, alfalfa is actually the third-largest in terms of value. It goes corn, soybeans, alfalfa, wheat, cotton and rice.”
Nelson added, traditionally, livestock producers grew alfalfa mostly for their own use, but in the last ten years…
“We’ve seen a pretty dramatic shift to more of a commercial production.”
According to the USDA, alfalfa sales last year brought in about $9 billion, wheat was at $8 billion. That may change though, in 2017 alfalfa got a check-off program to help with promotional efforts.
Photo: Washington Ag Network