Fall Alfalfa Fertilizer Applications

Oct 06, 2022

Alfalfa Fertilizer

Preparing for Next Year.

Fall is a perfect time to replace and correct the nutrients needded for next year. Potassium (K), phosphorous (P) and sulfur (S) applications in the fall are important for high-yield and high-quality alfalfa. First-crop alfalfa growth is often difficult to fertilize during wet soil in the spring and wheel tracks can cause damage to stands. Plus, fertilizer prices will likely be higher in spring.

Potassium (K) and Phosphorous (P) are important nutrients required for high yield alfalfa, while Sulfur (S) is important for protein production. Application rates of each of these should be based on crop removal, soil tests, and yield goals.

Potash applications should be split in-season: one after first cutting and another application after 3rd or 4th cutting. Late-season second potash application will provide “fuel” needed for winter survival and nutrients for spring growth. Apply the potash at a variable rate to save on overall cost and maximize ROI as fertilizer prices continue to increase. 

Alfalfa needs 50 pounds of K applied per every DM ton of forage removed. Boron (B) is also needed for alfalfa and can be applied annually with K. Tissue sampling can help indicate micronutrient needs. MAX-IN® Boron and MAX-IN Sulfur contain CornSorb® technology to help promote nutrient uptake and movement in the plant and can be tank-mixed with insecticides, PGR’s, and fungicides.  

Sulfur should be applied annually at a rate of 5 pounds per ton of expected forage. Sulfur can be applied as gypsum, elemental S or ammonium sulfate (AMS) with potash applications.

Manure on established alfalfa does not offer an adequate source of nutrients and wheel traffic from manure tankers/haulers can lead to​ potential decreased yield and stand persistence due to crown damage from wheel traffic damage and diseases in the lower canopy.

Contact your local Premier agronomist to talk more about fertilizing your alfalfa fields this fall and the benefits it can provide. 

Winfield United



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With spring just around the corner, your cooperative is gearing up for another one of our seasonal rushes…spring planting season. Not only will we see our total employee count peak for the year, but nearly every asset in the company will be in use. While many businesses have equipment and buildings that are in use all year long, our grain and agronomy divisions have millions of dollars invested in some assets that only get used for a few months out of the year. It is critical that these assets are fully operational and ready to go when the season starts. Our agronomy operations team has spent the winter months going through all the equipment to make sure it's in good working order, unwrapping and greasing up the new sprayers, trucks and other equipment we’ve purchased this year, updating technology and precision tools on existing equipment, and conducting hours of training on its use and safety. 

In addition, the crop advisors and admin staff have been putting the finishing touches on crop plans and seed orders, wrapping up input financing and nutrient management plans, hiring and training new staff including college interns to help scout fields, and maybe taking a little time away to get rested for what is sure to be long days and short nights ahead. If you’re still looking to finalize plans for this planting season, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our highly trained crop advisors.

Gearing up for spring is not only about the equipment, but also the additional staff needed to provide the products and services our members rely on to help feed the world. Each year we try to fill about 100 full and part time positions at our eleven agronomy locations. These positions can last from six weeks up to eight months. Most seasonal positions involve delivering product to our members or directly to fields to keep our custom application machines running smoothly. If you or someone you know is interested in seasonal or year-round employment, please contact Shayla at our Mt Horeb office or stop by one of the agronomy locations. The hours can be flexible and available up to seven days a week. If agronomy work isn’t for you, ask about openings at any of our other locations including retail associates, plant operations, truck drivers, administrative professionals and more. Premier is always looking to add quality people to our team.

Thank you for your continued support of Premier Cooperative and its staff. Have a great month and stay safe!
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