Alfalfa

Growing Tips

10 Tips to Top Alfalfa Tonnage
  1. Select a field with good drainage and free of weeds. Weed control should be done prior to stand establishment.

  2. Lime your fields 6 months to a year prior to seeding. Soil pH should be 6.8 to 7.5.

  3. Soil test. Phosphorous levels should be 70-80 lbs., Potassium 400-500 lbs., Boron 3 lbs. and Sulfur 40 lbs.

  4. Prepare a firm seedbed. Firm seed to soil contact is necessary for maximum emergence.

  5. Choose an alfalfa with the genetic background to repay you for your extra efforts.

  6. Plant alfalfa seeds ¼”-½” deep. Seed 18-20 lbs. per acre with direct seeding, 15-18 lbs. per acre with a nurse crop.

  7. Monitor insects. Alfalfa weevil during the first crop and Potato Leaf Hopper during the second through fourth crop. Adjust cutting schedules or spray as needed.

  8. Fight diseases with broad disease resistance base.

  9. Harvest forage at late bud stage for maximum forage yield and quality. Do not harvest from September 1 through October 15 to allow root carbohydrates to replenish themselves.

  10. Maintain fertility. Top dress after 1st and 3rd cuttings. Each ton of forage removes 12 lbs. of Phosphorus, 50 lbs. of Potassium, 0.4 lbs. of Boron and 6 lbs. of Sulfur.