Can you plant alfalfa back to back?

Asked By: Sukhvir Stanford | Last Updated: 19th March, 2020
Category: hobbies and interests beekeeping
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Planting back-to-back alfalfa stands without a crop rotation does not result in better stands when compared to crop rotated fields. Even though crop rotation provides the best option for a good stand of alfalfa, this is not always the most economical or maybe feasible option for every operation.

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Simply so, can alfalfa reseed itself?

Overseeding alfalfa into older stands is typically less successful since often the early cause of the stand depth is not addressed. In spite of autotoxicity, seedlings can germinate under mild conditions, but frequently this is a less-than-successful practice.

One may also ask, how late can you plant alfalfa? It is crucial to get at least 45 frost-free days of good growing conditions after seeding to build up adequate carbohydrate reserves for winter. You want to plant late enough that alfalfa will not regrow, but, erring on the side of caution, it is better to seed earlier rather than later into the late summer.

Hereof, does alfalfa come back every year?

There are many farmers throughout the midwest that sow it with their winter wheat seed and then after the spring harvest of wheat and straw, the alfalfa takes over and they get two more cuttings in the season. Alfalfa, depending upon your area, goes dormant in the winter and comes back every year just like grass does.

How often do you replant alfalfa?

When in doubt, get down in the dirt to take a look Evaluate your stand in the spring or early fall, at a height of about 4-6 inches. In third-year alfalfa, you should have 3-4 plants per square foot or 25-30 stems to predict an optimal yield.

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How many years will alfalfa grow?

Alfalfa is a perennial forage legume which normally lives four to eight years, but can live more than 20 years, depending on variety and climate.

Where does alfalfa grow best?

Easily grown and propagated, alfalfa adapts well to nearly any garden, tolerating a wide range of growing conditions. It makes a good drought-resistant plant too, as it doesn't like wet feet. In fact, too much moisture can lead to mold growth. When growing alfalfa, choose an area with plenty of full sun.

How do you reseed alfalfa?

At a minimum, do not reseed alfalfa into a previous alfalfa field until at least two weeks after destroying the previous alfalfa stand using tillage. 3. If you are no-tilling alfalfa after killing the previous alfalfa stand with herbicide, wait three to four weeks before reseeding alfalfa.

How long does alfalfa seed last?


Do not attempt to store your sprouting seed for more than 5 years unless it is stored in a cool (at least 60-65 degrees F) dry place. If you are storing large seed, it may be packed in the absence of oxygen. Seed may last up to 15 years stored in this way.

What do you plant before alfalfa?

For conventional planting, pre-emergence herbicide, such as Eptam or Chateau, can be incorporated into the soil before planting alfalfa. On no-till planting, only post-emergence herbicides, such as Raptor, Pursuit, or Select can be used.

How do you beat alfalfa stand?

To kill an alfalfa stand
  1. A more effective kill if glyphosate is used, though glyphosate alone often does not provide a complete kill of alfalfa.
  2. If 2,4-D or dicamba-based products are used, less risk of injury to neighboring fields or susceptible border plants compared to spring.
  3. An earlier planting date for the following crop.

When should you not cut alfalfa?

The rule of thumb is to not harvest alfalfa within six weeks of the first killing frost. Timing depends on your location, but typically frost starts hitting the Midwest in October, and the first hard frost occurs in early November. So avoid cutting after mid-September.

Is alfalfa warm or cool season?

Alfalfa and Cool-Season Clovers. Cool-season legumes make the most of their growth in the winter and spring when temperatures are too low for warm-season forages to grow. Mixtures of cool-season legumes can often lengthen the grazing season compared to the use of a single species.

What is the best fertilizer for alfalfa?


Newly seeded alfalfa can benefit from 10-15 lb of nitrogen fertilizer per acre to ensure a good start, particularly on sandy or low organic matter sites and with early spring plantings into cold soils.

What are the benefits of alfalfa?

Summary. Alfalfa has been shown to help lower cholesterol, and may also have benefits for blood sugar control and relieving symptoms of menopause. People also take it for its high content of antioxidants, vitamins C and K, copper, folate and magnesium. Alfalfa is also extremely low in calories.

What is the difference between alfalfa and clover?

One way to tell the difference between Sweet Clover and alfalfa is that the Sweet Clover leaf is serrated around the edge completely, whereas the alfalfa leaf is serrated only on one-third to one-half of the margin nearest the tip.

How much does it cost to plant an acre of alfalfa?

Alfalfa has to be planted at around 25 pounds per acre if I remember correctly. A 50 pound bag of seed is around $200 last I heard a few years back, so $100 an acre just for seed. Probably $120-150 per acre including tillage costs.

How much does an acre of alfalfa yield?

The average total yield is 20-35 tons per hectare (or 8-14 tons per acre) per year (distributed in 5-6 cuts). Top yields (intensive farming) can exceed 40 tons per hectare or 16 tons per acre per year. You can enrich this article by leaving a comment or photo of your alfalfa harvesting methods and yields.

How many inches of water does alfalfa need?


Alfalfa is a high water use crop requiring about 4 to 6 inches of water for each ton (11 to 17 cm per tonne) of dry hay produced. If the water is available, alfalfa will use more water than most other crops because of its long growing season. In many alfalfa growing areas, water is the most limiting factor.

Is alfalfa a row crop?

This is a strategy in which multiple crops are planted in the same space. At Dakota Lakes, Beck has no-tilled it between long-term continuous corn in a pattern of two rows of corn and one row of alfalfa. A deep-rooted perennial like alfalfa uses water not used by annual crops.

What month do you plant alfalfa?

Alfalfa has a wide range of recommended seeding dates. In the Upper Midwest, alfalfa fields can be seeded anytime from mid-April through May. Early June for northernmost dairy regions is fine. Like with any seed, soil temperatures and soil moisture together are important for germination.