The grain market rally is great for crop farmers but not so great for livestock producers who have to buy that grain to sustain herds. But there are alternatives; with a few adjustments and new attention to protein content, an alfalfa crop can go a long way to offsetting other protein sources for dairy operators and others. A high-quality alfalfa or haulage crop can offer vastly improved protein yield with a few minor adjustments. One key to deriving protein from alfalfa is in leaf retention; the higher the retention, the greater the feed value and crude protein contents, as leaves contain almost 1/3 of the crop’s total protein. Maximizing leaf retention may require management changes, like cutting earlier than you’re accustomed, and it’s also worth considering adding crop protection and fertility products to ensure the crop gets off to a strong, challenge-free start after each cutting. See more tips to max out the protein in your alfalfa crop.