All You Need to Know About Alfalfa Hay Market: Nutritional Benefits, Applications
What is Alfalfa Hay?
Alfalfa hay, sometimes called Lucerne, is a green, leafy plant in the legume family. It is well-formed as an important forage crop across many nations around the world. Alfalfa is often mixed with livestock’s feed programs in order to increase its nutritional value. Alfalfa hay can be a valuable addition to the diets of some animals; however, it may not always be required. It is used for hay, silage, green manure, grazing, and cover crops.
What Is Another Name for Alfalfa Hay?
In North America, the name alfalfa is commonly used, while in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, the name Lucerne is used. Alfalfa usually lives four to eight years but can survive more than 20 years, depending on variety and climate.
According to Polaris Market Research, the global alfalfa hay market is predicted to grow from USD 77.71 million in 2022 to USD 141.54 million, with a CAGR of 6.2% during the forecast period.
Benefits Provided by Alfalfa Hay
Alfalfa hay is a rich source of protein, calcium, and vitamins, making it an excellent choice for horses in high-production life stages who require some nutritional support in their diet. This can benefit pregnant or lactating mares, young growing foals, or adult working horses. The nutrients provided by alfalfa hay can also benefit other farm animals, such as dairy cattle, goats, and sheep. Alfalfa is sometimes utilized to provide beef cattle with useful energy.
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What Are the Differences Between Alfalfa and Grass Hay?
Although, alfalfa and grass hay are cultivated and harvested in similar ways, there are some notable differences between them. Alfalfa has a sweet smell & soft, leafy texture, while grass hay has a variety of smells & textures. Compared to grass hay, alfalfa is higher in protein & calcium. Compared to grass hays like Western Timothy and Orchard Grass, alfalfa has a higher nutritional content.
Market Driving Forces
The key factors driving the market growth include the rapidly expanding demand for nutrient-dense animal feed, the exponential growth of the global cattle feed industry, the supply of nutritionally balanced compound feed to milk producers, and the surge in livestock production in emerging regions to meet the demand from the animal population. Rising consumer awareness about the environmental impact of agriculture, which is leading to an increased demand for sustainable farming practices, is driving the alfalfa hay market growth.
Leading companies are introducing advanced technological innovations to stay ahead of the competition. For instance, in September 2022, Andy by Anderson Hay & Heinold Feeds introduced new alfalfa-based feed pellets, especially for young house rabbits. These feed pellets will include forage, vitamins, and minerals, among other natural elements. Further, Erisco Foods launched its new line of products in the Nigerian market in November 2022. Ketchup, tomato puree, coffee mix, and a host of other new products will help the business grow its clientele and increase its earning potential.
Applications of Alfalfa Hay
Daily animal feed, poultry feed, and horse feed are some of the common applications of alfalfa hay. Among these, the daily animal feed accounts for the largest alfalfa hay market share due to its certain health benefits for livestock, like enhanced digestion, surged milk production in dairy cows, and enhanced weight gain in beef cattle.
The alfalfa hay market plays a crucial role in maintaining livestock, meeting agriculture demands, and supporting sustainable farming practices. With its nutrient-rich profile, sweet smell, and soft texture, alfalfa hay is a driving force in the agriculture and livestock sectors. Our findings anticipate that alfalfa hay will experience thriving growth, fostering healthier animals in the coming years.
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