Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Economics

Committee Chair(s)

Ryan Larsen


Ryan Larsen


Ryan Feuz


Earl Creech


Before alfalfa hay is sold to brokers or diaries, it is quality is evaluated to determine the price. These tests go into great detail about the micro and macro nutrients alfalfa contains or they could be a function of the fibers alfalfa contains to determine the digestibility. Studies show ways to increase alfalfa quality such as harvesting later in the day at peak photosynthesis. However, the financial benefits, or lack thereof, based on these changes to quality have no conclusion. Here we show that harvesting alfalfa later in the day increases the quality and has financial benefits. We found that alfalfa harvested at 12:00 opposed to 8:00 had an almost 12-point difference in RFV and a $15.55 difference in net returns per acre. Our results demonstrate how harvesting at peak photosynthesis is more likely to increase the quality of alfalfa, the sugar content, and decrease the fiber content. We understand that this is one study and results may vary from operation to operation, but we invite others to study these same problems, but we hope that an understanding of these results will benefit all alfalfa farmers by offering another method to reduce risk and increase farm revenue.

Included in

Agribusiness Commons