A primary use for alfalfa is as feed for dairy cows, beef cattle, horses, sheep, and goats. Alfalfa is nutritious for animals because it has a high protein content and highly digestible fiber.

Alfalfa is considered an insectary, a place where insects are reared.This can be helpful to other crops, such as cotton, if the two are interplanted because the alfalfa harbours predatory and parasitic insects that would otherwise eat the other crop.

Alfalfa is beneficial for soil health. Because alfalfa crops live in the field for four to six years, soils build nutrition consistently over a long period without frequent field crop rotations.


California is the largest producer of alfalfa in the United States, followed by Idaho & Montana.