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Slide 16 of 17
Now that we understand better the dynamics of resource availability, one line
of research that could be helpful is to understand how various cultural
practices such as water management and clipping affect the height of the bloom
peak (see previous slide show) and the rate of decline of bloom. If we could
predict how much bloom the plant will produce, i.e., how high the peak bloom
can get, then we could better assess how many bees it will take to keep that
number of flowers pollinated within two days of bloom. Improvement in water
management with irrigation scheduling, and subsurface drip irrigation are
probably the most important cultural practices that growers can improve to
increase their profits from alfalfa seed.