When alfalfa is rained on after mowing, forage quality and dry matter are lost. Rain amount and intensity are the significant factors affecting the amount of loss:
- A light drizzle will have little effect (other than to lengthen drying time and increase respiratory losses of starch and sugar.)
- A prolonged rain additionally will leach out some of the soluble nonstructural carbohydrates (sugars) and soluble protein.
- An intense rain will additionally cause leaf loss, resulting in dry matter loss and quality loss since the leaves are low in fiber and the stems remaining are higher in fiber.
Read more on the Factsheet: Managing Rained-On Alfalfa for Haylage