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For general Information regarding this species, scroll below the list of tech sheet links.
Drought Tolerance: High
Winter Hardiness: Varies
Yield Potential: High
Grazing Tolerance: Varies
Medicago sativa L. alfalfa is a long-lived perennial legume. Flowers vary in color from purple to yellow and are born in loose clusters. Pods range from sickle type to those twisted into spirals. Each pod contains several small kidney-shaped seeds. Alfalfa is indeterminate and stems can reach several ft. long. New growth occurs from buds in crown. The plant has a taproot which may reach 25 ft. Compound leaves alternate on stem and are normally trifoliate, although there are commercial multifoliate varieties.
HarvXtra®: Reinventing Alfalfa that Gives Growers Options – Not Limits
Yield or Quality? Have both with HarvXtra®. Benefits include lower lignin, greater flexibility and the same or better yield with less cost. See Resources for much more on these and other benefits.
Roundup Ready®: When nothing’s in between, there’s room for more.
Roundup Ready® alfalfa is resistant to glyphosate herbicide; used for weed control. Controlling weed pressure during establishment provides potential for more yield, quality, persistence and savings.
Our new alfalfa varieties and products offer superior resistance to the latest alfalfa disease and pest threats including Aphanomyces Race 2 (Aph 2) and potato leafhopper – along with higher forage yield and feed quality plus excellent winter survival and persistence.
Not ready to commit to a premium variety but still want most benefits? Try our excellent yielding Forage First® Premium and Pro Brands, as well as 919® Brand alfalfa. These brands have good disease resistance packages and great genetic history.
See product pages for technology statements.
Alone (lbs./acre): 15-20
Mixes (lbs./acre): 8-10
Depth (in.): 1/4 (fine textured soil); 1/2 (sandy soil)
Emergence (days): 7-14
Life Cycle: Perennial
Grows best on deep, well-drained, friable soil with pH 6.5-7.5.
Plant alfalfa seed in clean, smooth, firm seedbed with adequate moisture. Ensure good surface drainage. Do not seed as first crop on newly leveled land where fill may settle and cause poor surface drainage. A combination drill and packer is desirable. Cultipack soil before and after seeding to help stand establishment.
Spring seeding can occur 30 days before last killing frost. Late summer-sown alfalfa seed can also be successful. Allow for adequate growth prior to first killing frost.
Graze early bloom (1/4 in. bloom) to 2 in. Potential bloat hazard. Use caution when grazing. Alfalfa best withstands grazing if rotated frequently or grazed in small strips.
Cut early bloom; last cutting should be 3-4 wks. before first killing frost.
Roundup Ready®: To maximize benefit of Roundup Ready® alfalfa, apply glyphosate to alfalfa seedling at 3-5 trifoliate stage with weeds less than 4 in. tall.