alfalfa, irrigation, crop yields
Cooperative Extension Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, South Dakota State University
Alfalfa performs admirably an irrigated crop in South Dakota-so well that it is often neglected. When given attention, it can realistically maintain irrigated yields of 6 to 7 TIA each year in most of South Dakota where 1 to 2 T are produced on dryland. Irrigated land that will produce 100-130 bu corn will produce 5-7 T alfalfa. On poorer irrigated land that produces 50-70 hu corn, one can expect 3-5 T alfalfa. Alfalfa has higher water requirements for peak yields than most other crops. It may not reach its full potential yield in any part of the stale without irrigation. Alfalfa is produced on 2.2 million acres dryland and irrigated land combined) in every county in South Dakota. By contrast, even when corn is irrigated, it is adapted to only about two thirds of the slate. If the marketing problems of transportation and fluctuating prices are overcome, alfalfa could become the state's number one irrigated crop.
Johnson, James R.; Krueger, Charles R.; Derscheid, Lyle A.; Pehl, Darrel D.; and Carson, Paul L., "Irrigating Alfalfa in South Dakota" (1980). SDSU Extension Circulars. 434.