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August 21, 2019

Alfalfa Hay

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Alfalfa originated in the vicinity of what is now Turkey and Iran, and undoubtedly was consumed by grazing animals long before there was any recorded history. It probably was domesticated in this area, and some historians believe this may have occurred concurrently with domestication of the horse. It is thought to be the first plant grown strictly for forage.

The earliest clear reference to alfalfa was in Turkish writings dating from 1300 B.C. However, at least one historian believes it is probably that alfalfa was cultivated 8,000 to 9,000 years ago (6,000 to 7,000 B.C.). Regardless, it is clear that alfalfa was recognized as a valuable crop by early man.

The above information is based on the study by Don Ball, Extension Agronomist Auburn University, and presented at the 2000 Kentucky Alfalfa Conference.

Today, CEADS is harvesting the alfalfa in Turkey grown only on the land exactly where this plant originated from and based on tons of samples collected from different parts of the country, the yield in this part of the country is proven by lab results to be the highest quality of all.

Today, it is no secret that alfalfa can provide excellent nutrition for all types of forage-consuming animals. Production of more than 30 kg of milk/dairy cow/day have been obtained from alfalfa/grass pasture alone. Beef gains of more than 500 kg/4k m2 have been reported on alfalfa/grass without supplementation. Fattening lambs have produced gains as high as 400kg/4k m2.

In many parts of the world alfalfa is commonly used to provide nutrition for various other animals including goats, oxen, and water buffalo. Alfalfa hay is widely fed to horses, mules, and donkeys. The crop is fed to camels in the Middle East, to llamas in South America, and to ostriches in South Africa. Alfalfa hay is also preferred feed for zoo animals in the United States and elsewhere.

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