Hay growers in our area often plant new fields to alfalfa without even thinking about other alternatives. For lots of folks, pure alfalfa is the best choice, but for many of you it might be better to mix in some grass, like orchardgrass, smooth brome, or festulolium, with your alfalfa.

Let’s look at some advantages of a grass-alfalfa mixture. If you regularly feed more than 5-6 lbs of alfalfa per day to stock cows during winter, they probably are getting way more than enough protein but maybe not enough TDN. Mixing grass with alfalfa usually lowers the protein but slightly increases the TDN content of hay. So your cows actually could receive a more balanced diet. Also, if you sometimes graze your hay fields, grass will reduce the risk of bloat.

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