News > GCC News > Fall Alfalfa Planting

Fall Alfalfa Planting

Jul 05, 2021

By Joey Kuehler, Sales Manager & Agronomist - Ulysses

The best time to plant alfalfa is about to roll around. Although spring planting is not uncommon, alfalfa tends to respond with higher production when planted mid-August to mid-September. Planting within this time frame helps to ensure good fall growth. Ideally, we like to see at least 3-5 trifoliates of growth before the first frost, and that typically takes approximately 6-7 weeks from germination. This helps ensure that sufficient root reserves are stored to allow the seedlings to survive the winter dormant period.
Alfalfa seed is expensive, and being a perennial crop, it’s also a long term investment, so we need to ensure that we do everything we can to protect that investment and achieve a good stand. The following are some points to consider:
  • Check spray records for herbicide carryover that could potentially damage the stand.
  • Pull soil samples and apply the needed nutrients to get the crop off to a good start. Alfalfa is a heavy user of Phosphorus & Potassium, so any needed applications need to be applied prior to seeding.
  •  Prepare a firm seedbed. Alfalfa seed is small, so it needs good contact with the soil. Starting with a firm, smooth seedbed will also help to get a smooth, even cut in the early years of the life of the stand.
  • Plant 15-20 lbs of an adapted, inoculated seed variety.
  • Limit seed depth to 1/4-1/2inch.
  • Don’t reseed into old stands. Alfalfa plants produce a toxin that inhibits establishment & survival of new seedlings.
If you’re considering adding alfalfa to your production plans, or would just like to discuss the potential of this crop on your farm, give us a call.


Read More News

May 13, 2022
R7 is an in-season precision farming tool that provides product performance and critical field information for developing and evaluating field zones. In this article we go over several aspects...
May 06, 2022
Wheat harvest is one of the most exciting times of the year – and it’s just around the corner. We've got a few pre-harvest best practices to consider to help harvest go as smoothly...
Apr 29, 2022
Check out our career page for a list of all available career opportunities!