A cutting height of one inch is generally recommended for alfalfa on about a four-week harvesting interval which is not under stress or depleted in root carbohydrates. When harvesting frequently in the bud stage, there is some evidence that a cutting height of four inches may have certain advantages.

Cutting alfalfa before the bloom stage is a common practice in Arizona to obtain desired hay quality. This practice may place stress on the alfalfa plant and contribute to summer slump and reduced stand life.

Cutting at full bloom during the summer will replenish the root carbohydrate reserves, reduce the effects of summer slump, and increase the probability of a rebound in yields in the fall.

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