I'm not sure why alfalfa for deer is so overdramatized. If you aren't doing as a farmer for profit its is one of the easiest plots to do. And if you mix with clovers and chicories, is a deer magnet especially for dry times of year or dry areas. Does like ph of 6.5+. You don't need to mow and bale, just plant proper size plot so deer will keep it mowed for you and mow occasionally at a foot to control weeds. Deer have never let mine gett much past a foot tall. Apply nutrients per soil tests. One of my very favorite plots. Save your money on RR and use a mixture of plants. Don't have time to show here but if you look on my thread I have numerous pics and discussions of its planting and maintenance. Plot is now 5 yo. I would suggest doing after a LC rotation for a year and ph is up to speed. Mine sits on a dry south facing ridge and has performed better than any other plot there year round. Deer will browse it year round except when acorns are dropping. Go for it.
My experience in my location has been that Alfalfa isn't worth the effort/cost. Now, that said.....everybody's situation is different and so are our needs/wants.
I have pretty low deer numbers.....so the deer do NOT keep my alfalfa plants mowed. I have to mow the plots I have alfalfa in. I also have it mixed with other perennial plants like clovers and chicory. I have found that the deer only tend to like the young tender growth and once it matures the deer have no interest in it. Now I also live in ag country so I have food everywhere so the deer can afford to be picky. I also don't bail or remove my clippings. I'm not upset about my alfalfa planting, but I won't include it in future plots. Alfalfa also tends to require fertile, well drained soils and full sun to perform well. In places where I have seen folks be the most happy with it is when they have ample deer numbers to keep the plot nice and trimmed so their maintenance of it is minimal......or they grow it for hay and the deer simply benefit from it being in the area.
It can also depend on the variety of alfafla, some are better for grazing than the hay types. Hay types tend to be stemmy because theyre bred for max tonnage. Its not as picky on fertility as some might think, but it doesnt like wet feet and does use alot of P&K.
I agree that for most part and for food plots especially, RR alfalfa is a waste, its already halfway RR anyway. But there are some situations where it is beneficial, I know to the north of me in the Sandhills, they love it because sandburs are a problem in hay fields up there and while you can spray Rup on non RR alfalfa and 9 times out of 10 not do much more than stunt it a bit, that 10th time youll end up killing it on accident.
If youve got plenty of food plots all year round and they arent keeping it mowed down, you could take a cutting once it flowers and then let it grow back, the protein will go up and it will have new tender shoots. It could help offset the cost of things, and otherwise it will get kinda rank and deer wont eat it. We just seeded 85 acres of irrigated alfafla this spring, put out 24lb/ac and I think seed was $2.50/lb??
Insect pests can be very hard on alfalfa in this area.....an insecticide program unreasonable....there are about 3 major alfalfa insect pests common here...each inflicting successive plant injury before the first blooms. Include 1-2 lb/ac alfalfa in a mix with clovers. if it works without hassle then use higher rate of alfalfa....if it fails then use a different legume. Berseem and Persian clover are both annual legumes which may grow in soils where alfalfa struggles....requiring less management and cost. OK49 is one of the old time tested alfalfa varieties for this latitude if you can find seed!