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Alfalfa Production Practices

Each crop has a set of circumstances under which it can reach optimum performance.  The requirements are somewhat higher, but the rewards in feed production and resulting milk and meat production justify the crops' needs

Soils:  Alfalfa does best in deep, fertile, well drained soils.  Internal drainage is most important.  It is well adapted to sloping fields.

Soil pH and fertility: Alfalfa needs soil pH in a range from 6.5 to 7.2 to maximize establishment and production.  Fields requiring lime to meet these requirements need to be limed 18 to 24 months ahead of Alfalfa establishment.  Medium high to high levels of phosphorous and potash are needed for optimum production and continued growth.  Soil tests provide an accurate means to identify crop needs.  As a rule, Alfalfa removes 15-20# of P, 60-70# of K and 1/2# of Boron per ton of dry hay produced and removed.  Maintenance applications should be split and applied after 1st and 3rd cuttings.  Manure applications should be made when Alfalfa is dormant.

Seedbed preparation:  For optimum stand establishment a fine, firm seedbed and shallow seed placement led to great success.  Seedbed should be firmed prior to seed placement.  The best equipment presses the seed into the soil after placement.  Successful seeding can be done by broadcasting seed on to a firmed seedbed and using a cultipacker to press the seed into the soil.   No-till establishment can be successful providing competition from an existing sod or competitive vegetation is chemically controlled.  Care in seed placement is vital in all methods.  Optimum seeding depth is 1/4 to 1/2 inches.

Variety selection: This is one of the most important steps.  Climatic adaption (dormancy), resistance to Phytophthora Root Rot, Bacterial Wilt and Anthracnose, feed value are the criteria for making this decision.   Varieties such as Ameristand 403T ,ABT 405 and RedBird 6600 are excellent choices.

Seeding Rate:  Rates depend somewhat on the seeding equipment.  Optimum stands require 15# to 18#  per acre drilled, 20# to 25#  if broadcast.

Time of Seeding:  Spring or summer seedings can be equally successful if soil moisture conditions are adequate.  Spring seedings germinate and establish more uniformly when soil temperatures reach 60 degrees F.  Summer seedings must be made in time to allow Alfalfa 8 to 10 weeks to establish a crown prior to soil freeze.

Harvest:  Alfalfa reaches peak feed value at bud formation.   Feed value is 75% in leaves so harvesting methods must concentrate on minimizing leaf loss.

Weed Control:  Several chemical herbicides are now licensed for weed control in Alfalfa and allow for efficient control of broadleaf weeds and grasses.  Consult with your chemical dealer to determine your options.


AmeriStand 403T has unique plant types that are a decade ahead of all other varieties for yield under wheel traffic. Over a decade ago we developed an exclusive selection process that helped us discover these unique genetics. After a decade of research, using our Real World™ selection process, we discovered plant types with:
  •  Larger deep-seated crowns with finer stems, greater leaf mass and more crown bud activity
  • 30% larger roots that store more energy promoting better yield and stress recovery
  • Advanced seedling resistance to get stands off to a strong start
  • Exclusive high resistance to Phoma Crown Rot, the "Traffic Disease" only available in AmeriStand 403T
  • High resistance to all major alfalfa diseases, resists Aphanomyces Races 1 & 2


At a Glance...

  • ABT 405 - Great grazing tolerance and excellent persistence are just a few traits that set 405 apart from all the others. The best disease resistance package in the industry including phytophthora and aphanomyces for both seedlings and mature plants make ABT 405 a must for any dairyman or hay producer.   University tests proved 405 to be superior to Alfagraze in its grazing persistence.   ABT 405, with broad sunken crowns set 1 inch below the soil surface, prolific, non-synchronized sub-surface budding increases grazing tolerance for longer durations.

  • BUFFALO - An old early variety which is still planted successfully.  More stems and less quality than the newer varieties are some of its negatives.  Disease resistance also  suffers compared to the newer developed varieties but Buffalo is still planted mainly because of price.

  • REDBIRD 6600 - A blend of high value, private variety with the characteristics needed for a excellent yield and exceptional  disease resistance. Always a winner in any program for dependable hay for high quality or excellent alfalfa production in a particular area.   These fall dormancy 4 alfalfas have disease and pest resistance that are proven in Kentucky and Southern Indiana production.

        FSG 408DP ALFALFA   

  • Dual purpose alfalfa hay or graze
  • Wide, deep-set crowns
  • Stands up to wheel traffic pressure
  • High yield potential
  • Superior winterhardiness and persistence

FSG 408DP alfalfa has been bred for deep-set crowns with 61% of the crowns 1 inch to 11⁄2 inches below the soil surface. The deep-set crown trait helps insulate the crown in severe winter weather and protect the crown from animal and equipment traffic. This versatile variety is ideal for three to four cut management sytems where wheel traffic is a concern, or for intensive livestock grazing year after year. With high hay yields, great forage quality, and an excellent disease and insect resistance package, FSG 408DP gives you the flexibility to optimize your management decisions.

Bacterial Wilt Highly Resistant (HR)
Fusarium Wilt Highly Resistant (HR)
Verticillium Wilt Resistant (HR)
Anthracnose-Race 1 Highly Resistant (HR)
Phytophthora Root Rot Highly Resistant (HR)
Aphanomyces-Race 1 Resistant (HR)
Wisconsin Disease Index 28 out of 30
Pea Aphid Resistant (R)
Spotted Alfalfa Aphid Resistant (R)
Stem Nematode Resistant (R)
Root Knot Nematode Highly Resistant (R)


To Order Call  270-886-2582 or 1-888-398-4516






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