RALEIGH, N.C. — High quality alfalfa is produced in North Carolina. It is a fact…!!! For some people, the previous statement may be surprising; however, the quality of alfalfa produced in North Carolina has consistently been recognized in regional hay quality contests, like the Southeastern Hay Contest. Quality, in this case, is defined as the ability of the hay to meet the nutritional demand of livestock. High levels of crude protein (CP) and total digestible nutrients (TND) are desirable.
Records of alfalfa samples from North Carolina placing in the top-3 positions in the Alfalfa Hay category of the Southeastern Hay Contest start in 2015 (Table 1). Since then, North Carolina’s alfalfa samples have consistently placed in the top-3 positions, not skipping a single year. Records of the contest are available online since 2006; however, the Alfalfa Hay category was first set in 2015. From 2006 to 2014, samples of alfalfa and other legumes competed in the same category. A huge exception was the year 2021, where all the top-3 positions in the Alfalfa Hay category were awarded to samples from North Carolina.
–Miguel Castillo, N.C. State University