Cool-season perennial alfalfa is frequently cultivated as a cover crop or soil improver for feeding livestock. It is a great way to improve soil and minimize erosion because it is nutrient-dense and has a natural supply of nitrogen. Here are some tips for enhancing alfalfa growth.
Plan Beforehand to Prevent Herbicide Carryover
Sometimes during wet weather, it is necessary to be aware that some herbicides in use on prior crops, including soybeans and maize, degrade slowly. Due to the extended residual herbicide, herbicide carryover seems to be more prevalent in fields previously planted with corn. To minimize stunted alfalfa stands, examining herbicide labelling is vital to determine the herbicide carryover duration.
Choose Areas with Adequate Drainage
Due to its aversion to wet feet, alfalfa is susceptible to seedling infections in fields with inadequate soil drainage. To minimize oversaturation, limit planting it alfalfa in soils with a high proportion of clay. Assessing the ground for hardpan, a hardened, often clay-based, impermeable layer that impedes drainage or plant growth, is another method to keep fields from being too moist. If there are soil issues or standing water, look below the earth’s surface to determine if drainage would be a problem.
Test Soil Then Make Modifications
Typically, alfalfa yields best if planted in neutral pH soil. Consequently, it is essential to test soils to adjust acidic pH values. Neutral pH is necessary for alfalfa growth since it maximizes the supply of vital nutrients.
It would be best if you strived to eliminate weeds when establishing the alfalfa stand, mainly perennial weeds, which are extremely difficult to manage once the alfalfa is planted. To reduce weeds, apply pre-emergent sprays, including Verdesian Life Sciences products like CITRON, that will help manage the situation.
Create a Solid Seedbed
Given their small size, the seeds will dry out quickly if they don’t have adequate soil contact. Nevertheless, if the seedlings are planted too deeply, they might have difficulty emerging. Preparing a seedbed for the seeds to sink roughly half an inch underneath the soil surface is essential.
Choose a Suitable Alfalfa Variety for Your Region
Research qualities like disease resistance and cold hardiness while picking a type of seed. Quality seed is profitable. You must ensure you are selecting the appropriate seeds for your region and your demands.
There are around 100 distinct insects that might cause harm to alfalfa, but you only need to remove a small fraction of them because their damage is economically significant. Be on the lookout for leafhoppers because they are the pests most likely to drain your finances.
How, where, and which kinds we sow can substantially affect the quantity and quality of our alfalfa before it is harvested. These suggestions for correctly planting your alfalfa fields will ensure the success of your harvest.