Alfalfa is the fourth most widely planted crop in the United States at over 16 million acres, with an estimated annual value of $11.7 billion. In Minnesota, alfalfa trails only corn, soybeans and wheat in acres produced, totaling 670,000 harvested acres in 2021. In addition to its economic value to farmers and the agricultural industry, alfalfa provides multiple benefits as a perennial crop: such as protecting water resources by reducing soil erosion and loss of nutrients from fields, reducing the need for pesticides and fertilizer, supporting pollinators and improving soil health. The crop also produces high levels of crude protein per acre, providing a potentially valuable source of plant-based protein with a wide and growing array of potential high-value uses.
Alfalfa’s combination of economic and environmental benefits has sparked increased efforts to enhance its production, with researchers in Minnesota and beyond seeking to unlock the crop’s potential by developing new high-value uses for the crop.
Join AURI Connects: Fields of Innovation on Thursday, June 30th as we host alfalfa innovators to learn more about ongoing efforts to develop new high-value uses for alfalfa and generate new production opportunities for this important crop.
Speakers & Panelists include:
University of Minnesota Dept. of Agronomy & Plant Genetics
Research Leader & Adjunct Professor
USDA Agriculture Research Service
Dr. Michael Stutelberg
National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance