Seeding Practices

Interseeded Alfalfa

Analyzing Alfalfa Seedling Tolerance to Freezing Temperatures

At very low temperatures (<40F), germination of alfalfa seed is much slower when compared to 40 to 50 F. This University of Minnesota study found that at 32 F, it took 15 days to reach 50% germination. At 50 F, 50% of seeds germinated in just 3 days. Individual seedlings will emerge slowly at low temperatures, meaning a long, staggered period of emergence, while at higher temperatures seedlings will emerge more uniformly.

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red clover

Alfalfa, Red Clover can Furnish N for Following Crops

Legumes still can provide valuable N to today’s cropping systems. Legumes also contribute a non-nitrogen rotation effect due to addition of soil organic matter and improvement in soil health. Corn grown following alfalfa stands that are 2+ years old (and contained at least 50% alfalfa) require no nitrogen fertilizer on many soils. Red clover N credits are less than for alfalfa.

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