Known as the ‘king of forage crops', alfalfa is an important high-quality forage for dairy cattle and other her- bivores. It is of great significance to improve China's grass products and livestock products. In order to provide deci- sion-making reference for China's alfalfa industry, this work analyzed the scientific and technological output, industrial patterns and market trade of the global alfalfa from the perspective of innovation chain, as well as the problems present in China's alfalfa industry by qualitative and quantitative evaluation. The United States of American (USA) is the most im- portant alfalfa producer around the world, and has strong competitive advantages in basic research, technology deve- lopment, variety breeding and commercial planting of alfalfa, and leads the development of global alfalfa industry. The international multinational enterprises of Europe and USA hold the key industry chains of global alfalfa, which are the major export markets of alfalfa, while Asia has the largest consumption gap of alfalfa products. Although China has become active in the field of alfalfa R&D recently, it has still a significant gap with USA and European countries in terms of the quantity and influence of achievements in scientific research on alfalfa, the progress of alfalfa breeding is slow, and high dependence of high-quality alfalfa products on external factors. Therefore, China needs continue to increase investment in alfalfa R&D, and further promotes the industrialized development of alfalfa, so as to steadily improve the self-sufficiency rate of alfalfa products and ensure the healthy and stable development of animal husbandry.