Alfalfa production and winter injury due to cold
What to look for when assessing winter damage:
Stands which are slow to green up: Compare your stand to other fields in the area. If you notice that some areas are starting to grow and other areas of your alfalfa field still brown, it is time to check those brown stands for injury or death.
Winter-killed roots gray appearance: If the root is soft and water can be easily squeezed from it, or it has a brown color, it is a probable sign of winter cold-related death.
Asymmetrical growth and uneven growth: These are also two indicators of winter injury. Compare the shoots on the same plant, and if you notice that one set of the shoots seems to be drastically outperforming another in terms of growth, it could be that winter cold damaged the bud structure of your plants.
If you think a stand has been injured, you can follow the guideline found in the table to make decisions to either keep or replant an alfalfa field after winter injury.
For more information, visit iGrow.org.