Tighter margins require the best management insight on your Alfalfa Crop. That means a good understanding of how to leverage technology and agronomic know-how. Below are 10 insights to maximizing your investment for a strong alfalfa program.
1. Variety Selection:
Select the best alfalfa genetics for each field and your management practices. Top factors for variety placement decisions include; harvest management style, fall dormancy, winterhardiness, and resistance to specific disease and insect pressures. View our Top Varieties
2. Coated Seed:
Coating seed helps improve stand establishment and increase the number of seeds that become plants. The most critical time for long-term stand productivity occurs within the first 30 days after seeding. Our seed coating helps get plants off to a fast, healthy start, provides additonal macronutrients, helps promote early seedling growth, and supplies two fungicides to help protect seedlings from Phytophthora and Aphanomyces diseases.
3. Stand Establishment:
Plant into a firm seedbed to control seed depth. A “fluffy” or loose seedbed allows seeds to end up at varying depths, often resulting in uneven stand or lost seed. Avoid surface application unless follow-up packing is performed. Seed-to-soil contact is crucial. Water must leave the soil and enter the seed coat before the tiny seed can germinate.
4. Reading the Stand:
Evaluating alfalfa stem density to determine current productivity, and root health to determine future yield potential. Learn how to Evaluate Your Stand.
5. Insect and Disease Control:
Improve Forage yield and quality by monitoring and controlling pressure. Know pests and diseases in your area along with their threshold to maximize forage yield and quality.
6. Weed Control:
Weeds can significantly reduce forage quality. Controlling weeds when immature will help for fast stand establishment and greatly impact forage yield and quality. View Herbicide Restrictions
7. NutriSolutions™ System:
Manage macro and micronutrients to promote high forage production. Learn more about the Nutrisolutions System
– Soil Test ensure the soil pH is on target. Review macro- and micronutrients are present to fuel growth.
– Collect Plant tissue test on Top 4-5 inches of growth, prior to harvest to verify available nutrients to the plant.
8. Minimize Wheel Traffic & Soil Compaction:
Wheel traffic and compacted soil can reduce yields. Damage resulting from harvest traffic reduces crop regrowth on new shoots and can cause yield loss on following harvests.
9. Optimize Alfalfa Cutting Management:
Choose a management strategy that fits on your farm. Whether it be focusing on increased forage quality or increasing yield potential, we offer products to fit multiple management styles. View our Management Guide
10. Harvest & Storage Management:
Leaf loss is a real problem! Additive effects can lead to significant loss in quality; whether it be from mechanical harvest, forage moisture, rain, and/or ash.