You may not be aware of this, but the humble alfalfa plant is a cornerstone of agriculture. How so? It's used as a feed for beef cattle, horses, sheep, and goats. The alfalfa plant has a high protein content and so is a great addition to any farm animal's diet - greatly aiding in agricultural efficiency. Alfalfa is also a great fibre source too for rabbits and poultry. Having said that, alfalfa sprouts CAN be eaten by humans - normally in salads and sandwiches.
Alfalfa is normally harvested three or four times a year, but can be harvested up to twelve times a year in warmer, drier climates.
Alfalfa has other benefits too - it's considered an "insectary" - that is, it's a place where insects colonise, which in turn aids other types of crops, like cotton. These insects help protect the secondary crop (such as cotton seeds) and thus the benefit of growing alfalfa is realised.
Pollinators such as honey bees are required to pollinate alfalfa, and they are often trucked in to ensure alfalfa can be pollinated in huge quantities they're harvested at.Cotton Seeds
Cotton seeds are another excellent source of food for livestock. The cotton seeds have to be crushed in the mill after removing lint from the cotton plant. The remaining seeds provide a high-protein source for animal livestock, which - like the aforementioned alfalfa, help increase agricultural efficiency.
There are other uses cotton seeds can be used for:-
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- cotton seed oil which can be used for cooking and salad dressings
- cotton seed can be used as a dry organic fertilizer
- cosmetic products