Co-op News > August 2020 > 5 Simple Steps for Success with Late-Summer Alfalfa Seeding

5 Simple Steps for Success with Late-Summer Alfalfa Seeding

Aug 11, 2020

Alfalfa Growth Stages

Late-Summer Seeding

Alfalfa is a versatile crop with a wide range of recommended seeding dates, but if you have land available for alfalfa, you must finalize your plan soon. Follow these five steps to help make your next alfalfa seeding a success:

1. Alfalfa requires a neutral soil

Perform a soil test to determine pH, potassium and phosphorus levels. Alfalfa requires a neutral soil pH of 6.8 to 7.2 to reach its yield potential, and incorrect soil fertility levels will lead to lost production.

2. Plant at the right depth

Planting alfalfa can be more challenging in the summer than in fall or spring. The key is to plant into firm soil where you can control the depth, ideally planting seeds one-quarter to three-eighths of an inch below the soil surface.

3. Check for herbicide carryover

If there is any residual chemistry leftover from the previous crop, it could inhibit alfalfa crop establishment.

4. Control weeds

The first 30 days of an alfalfa seedling’s establishment are very important, and if you don’t have adequate weed control, some of those alfalfa seedlings may be lost.

5. Try a reduced-lignin variety

Alfalfa varieties with the HarvXtra® reduced-lignin trait, such as CROPLAN® HarvXtra® HarvaTron, HVX Driver or HVX MegaTron, provide flexibility to increase time between cuttings, which can result in improved forage quality or increased stand persistence. Click here to view varieties.

For more information on alfalfa seeding and management strategies, contact an agronomist below. We’ll help you develop a customized plan that fits your specific needs and goals.

Joel Mezera

Agronomy Production Specialist

Nick Crary

Agronomy Production Specialist


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