Time to Start Planting Alfalfa… Already?
Is it just me or does it seem like this winter is going by REAL fast. I feel like I was just finishing working ground a month ago and here we are, planting alfalfa seed. This alfalfa is grown for the seed production under contract. It is different than alfalfa grown for hay in that it is planted in lines 30 or 40 inches wide at a population of about 100,000 seeds/acre. Alfalfa grown for hay is scatter-planted at more like a million seeds/acre. First the beds are tilled using a “lilliston” or “spider” cultivator and then planted with a precision planter every 1.5″. Notice the tanks on the tractor? Those carry the starter fertilizer to help give the seedlings a good push. Since we have not had much rain the water also adds moisture to germinate the seed. I will probably have to start irrigating immediately after germination to be sure that the root is able to continue down into moisture but will watch the weather forecast and pray for rain in the meantime.