Quick Answer: Where Does Alfalfa Grow Best?

How long does it take for alfalfa to sprout?

six daysAlfalfa seed germinates best at soil temperatures between 65-85°F.

If soil temperature is 40°F, it takes alfalfa six days to germinate, but only two days at 65°F..

What states grow alfalfa?

California is the largest producer of alfalfa in the United States followed by Idaho & Montana. California is the largest producer of alfalfa in the United States followed by Idaho & Montana. The United States produces over 57.5 million tons of alfalfa.

How often do you have to plant alfalfa?

If you have land available for alfalfa in late summer, optimal seeding dates are July 15 through August in the Upper Midwest; closer to July 15 for northernmost regions. For growers in warmer climates, seeding into early September is acceptable.

Is Alfalfa a good cash crop?

Increased profits from alfalfa—Top dairymen know alfalfa is their most profitable crop. The high yield of high quality forage results in the greatest milk or meat production per acre of any forage. … Corn and soybeans risk lower yields without alfalfa in the rotation.

How many tons per acre does alfalfa produce?

4.5 tonsNASS also reported alfalfa hay yields of 3.36 tons per acre, but remember that this does not include haylage, so a reasonable working alfalfa hay yield figure is 4.5 tons per acre. Average yields are from a broad range of conditions, so you must estimate what your yield potential is based on past history.

Does alfalfa need a lot of water?

Alfalfa is a high water use crop because it has a long growing season, a deep root system, and a dense mass of vegetation. … Commonly cited ranges in water requirements for alfalfa are 18 to 36 inches of water per season. Alfalfa is quite tolerant of drought or extended periods without highly available water.

How tall should alfalfa be when you cut it?

3-inch height for all cuts during the season, 6-inch height for all cuts during the season.

What state grows the most alfalfa?

ArizonaArizona is the highest-yielding state, with an average of about 7.9 tons/acre. Arizona grows mostly non-dormant varieties under irrigation, and alfalfa is harvested 8-10 times per year.

What is an acre of alfalfa worth?

In this example, the standing value for the entire alfalfa field could range from $230 to $360/acre for the entire growing season. Keep in mind ownership costs can run $300- 400/acre when the seller considers lost rent, establishment costs and top-dress fertilizer to maintain soil fertility.

How tall does alfalfa grow?

3 feet 3 inchesAlfalfa is a perennial forage legume which normally lives four to eight years, but can live more than 20 years, depending on variety and climate. The plant grows to a height of up to 1 metre (3 feet 3 inches), and has a deep root system, sometimes growing to a depth of more than 15 m (49 ft) to reach groundwater.

What’s the best fertilizer for alfalfa?

AY-331-W. … Fertilizing alfalfa with phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) can increase yield and stand longevity. … P and K are macronutrients, which means plants require them in relatively high amounts compared to many other nutrients.More items…

How much does alfalfa grow per day?

The ET at peak periods of 0.4 inches/day (10 mm/day) can reach 4080 tons of water per acre and 45 tons per acre per day.

What does good alfalfa hay look like?

Good quality hay should be bright green in color with little fading. A bleached, yellow, brown or black color may indicate aged hay, mold or poor storage conditions. Storage condition and age have a significant effect on vitamin content of hays.

What is the best time of year to plant alfalfa?

In years with adequate rainfall, late summer or fall is typically the best time to establish alfalfa. Yields from late summer seeding are generally higher than yields from spring seeded alfalfa in the establishment year.

Will alfalfa reseed itself?

First, alfalfa is a slow growing perennial and has a hard time competing with existing plants (1,000 x its size) and weeds for light, nutrients, and water. … Second, if the cause of the stand loss is not corrected, the original cause of plant loss is likely to repeat itself.

How long does alfalfa last?

With alfalfa I try to plan for a 5 year stand. Sometimes it comes out after 3 years and sometimes it stays for 7 years. One time one field persisted for 11 full years of full production.

How profitable is growing alfalfa?

Due to higher yields of both alfalfa and corn, for both grain and silage, as well as reduced nitrogen fertilizer costs, farm profitability has increased almost $33 per acre for every acre of the farm with shorter alfalfa stand life!

Do whitetail deer eat alfalfa?

As mentioned by everyone else, whitetail deer will eat alfalfa hay. Most other types of hay are useless to a whitetail because of their body’s inability to digest grasses.

Can you cut alfalfa the first year?

You can harvest seeding-year alfalfa as early as 40 days after seedlings emerge. … However, after this early cutting the regrowth of seedling alfalfa will become more similar to established alfalfa, giving you the opportunity for two or three cuts the first year. And, it helps control many weeds as well.

Does alfalfa come back every year?

Growing Alfalfa – How To Plant Alfalfa. Alfalfa is a cool-season perennial commonly grown for feeding livestock or as a cover crop and soil conditioner. … Alfalfa’s extensive root system nourishes both plants and soil. The alfalfa plant has been cultivated for generations and growing alfalfa in your garden is easy.

How much does it cost to plant alfalfa?

Cropland with district water suitable for alfalfa production typically ranges in value among counties from $15,000 to $25,000 per acre. The land in this study is owned by the grower and cost $15,000 per acre.