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Alfalfa is high in minerals, vitamins, and protein making it one of the most nutritious crops that can be utilized in any forage situation whether for pasture use or as a wildlife food plot crop also know as fodder. Depending on the cultivar, Alfalfa withstands a wide variety of climates and is highly drought resistant because it can lay dormant for up to 2 years when in a drought situation.
Alfalfa performs best on irrigated, fertile, well-drained loamy soils.
Planting Dates: Plant late summer to early fall in Southeast. In cooler, mountain locations, spring seeding may be preferable, but late summer and fall is also practiced. Inoculation is not required on plantings where prior Alfalfa has grown or if your Alfalfa seed is pre-inoculated.
Seeding rate: Southern areas: 20 - 25 lbs / Acre.
Seeding Method: Broadcast or Band Seed
Depth: Ideal depth 1/4 inch coverage.
Fertilization: Alfalfa is a legume and dependent upon the usage and since it is grown in so many different areas; soil tests are the only reliable method of determining what levels of nutrients are needed.
Watering: Irrigation is a must in some areas if seasonal rains are not sufficient.
Weeding: This should be done before seeding and following the method as suggested by your county agent.
Establishment: Early spring, late summer or fall depending upon the location, on a weed free and well-prepared seedbed. With adequate water, the establishment time is generally about 60 days for the first harvest.
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