Oct 2, 2014
Home| Tools| Events| Blogs| Discussions| Sign UpLogin

Today's Market: Alfalfa Seeding Failure

January 30, 2013
By: Jim Dickrell, Dairy Today Editor

Here are three key culprits

There are three main reasons alfalfa seeding fails—particularly in the Midwest, says Dan Undersander, an Extension forage specialist with the University of Wisconsin.

Dairy Today red dot Bonus Content

  • Low soil pH. Alfalfa needs a pH of 6.8 to fully thrive. "In Wisconsin, we put on half the lime recommended by soil tests," Undersander says.
  • Loose seedbed. All seed needs good seed-to-soil contact in order to germinate. With alfalfa seed, which is extremely little compared to corn and even small grains, it’s doubly important. "Once you have prepared the seedbed, your shoe should sink in less than one-quarter inch," Undersander says.

If it sinks in more than that, you’ll need to follow the planter with a corrugated roller. "If you’re seeing better stands in wheel tracks or on headlands, you’re not packing good enough," Undersander says.

  • Planting too deep. After planting, you should see 5% to 10% of the seed lying on the surface. If you’re not seeing any seed on the surface, you’re seeding too deep.

So how do you know if you have a good stand? "If you have 30 to 35 alfalfa plants per square foot in the fall, you’ve done a good job," Undersander says.

See Comments

FEATURED IN: Dairy Today - February 2013
RELATED TOPICS: Dairy, Alfalfa

Log In or Sign Up to comment


No comments have been posted



Hot Links & Cool Tools


facebook twitter youtube View More>>
The Home Page of Agriculture
© 2014 Farm Journal, Inc. All Rights Reserved|Web site design and development by AmericanEagle.com|Site Map|Privacy Policy|Terms & Conditions