Alfalfa

Discussion in 'Dbltree's corner' started by dbltree, May 5, 2006.

  1. DE2IA

    DE2IA Active Member

    Messages:
    513
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Southeast, IA
    Thinking of trying alfalfa for the first time.......would plant last week of JULY. So the question is, if we get rain, will the alfalfa be up enough this year to be a huntable plot in the fall?
     
  2. AdBot Guest Advertisement

  3. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,294
    Likes Received:
    1,889
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Central, IA
    I say yes. End of July- if u get moisture - it will be. That’s a good growing timeframe to get some height.

    Btw- good chart if a guy wanted to get “fussy”. Then- sky is the limit on reading on grazing alfalfa’s and the balancing of lower lignin contents for digestibilty while keeping quality up. To keep it SIMPLE - I think if u get strains that have dormancy & resistence to problems in ur growing area - be just fine.

    http://www.alfalfa.org/pdf/2018_Variety_Leaflet.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
    DE2IA likes this.
  4. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,262
    Likes Received:
    1,140
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    SC Iowa
    For those planting alfalfa for deer, do you have success growing it without bailing it? Is that even possible? Can you just mow it and leave it? As I sit in stands in the fall I am constantly looking around at future projects (it actually gets annoying in my own head). Anyway, one spot, lighter soils, alfalfa probably do well, but I can't bail it. Not nearly big enough to rent out to someone for hay even if it was free. Alfalfa one of the few things I have not played with. Thoughts?
     
  5. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

    Messages:
    5,726
    Likes Received:
    925
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Iowa City
    I have had an alfalfa field for 2 years now and have never baled it. BUT...we have had wicked drought the past two summers, so it really never grew as fast as it would have had we had normal rain. Soooo, it could be that I would have had trouble keeping up with it in a "normal" rain year. As it was, I just mowed it periodically and let it lay...but I never really had a big "mat" of cut stuff on top of the still growing plants underneath. A small plot could be kept short enough by the deer too that it wouldn't need much mowing??
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
    Sligh1 likes this.
  6. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,294
    Likes Received:
    1,889
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Central, IA
    Yepper Just mow more often if it’s growing like crazy. The reason bailing works is it keeps alfalfa from being smothered with a thick mat of clippings. All is taken off the plants when bailed up. Clover is more tolerant to be smothered.
    Few keys.... mow it finely at stage it won’t smother. Buy a creeping alfalfa that’s slow growing- not rated high for bailing production. Get a leafy strain that’s more of a slow growing grazer. That’s all stuff that’ll help but kinda splitting hairs. Buy “whatever” & don’t let it get choked out & u will b just fine. If not- spread some clover in or rotate it out & try again another year. You also could TRY some smaller plots of it & see if deer just mow it for u.
     
  7. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    467
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Minnesota & 270 acres in Iowa
    How many acres are you looking to plant?
     
  8. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,262
    Likes Received:
    1,140
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    SC Iowa
    Not much. 2ish.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
     
  9. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    467
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Minnesota & 270 acres in Iowa
    Do you have any cattle guys in your area?
    I have neighbors cut my alfalfa-2 acres for free. They get several round bales off 2 acres.
     
  10. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

    Messages:
    5,726
    Likes Received:
    925
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Iowa City
    I suspect this would hold true here in Iowa too. I had a guy ask if he could bale off of my ONE acre alfalfa plot. I couldn't let him do so because that plot is a part of my CRP acres. When I re-enrolled in CRP this summer, 5 acres were dropped out because they weren't contiguous with the other acres. So I plan on letting that farmer run alfalfa on those acres starting next year. Free food plot for me...the only stipulation is that he is not supposed to mow it super short after mid-August so I have some there for the deer for the fall/winter.
     
    Hardwood11 likes this.
  11. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,294
    Likes Received:
    1,889
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Central, IA
    Killer deal!! Really important.... Baling pulls huge quantities of P&K out of the soil.... Make sure, it's paid for or simply reapplied each year. Lime & P&K & ideally a little Boron. Very important & if you bale it and don't keep up with it, MINING the soil like that over some time will leave you with one massively expensive P&K & lime bill to get it back to fertile levels.
     
  12. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,262
    Likes Received:
    1,140
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    SC Iowa
    Ok bailing not an option for lots of reasons. Can mowing only work?

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
     
  13. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,294
    Likes Received:
    1,889
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Central, IA
    YEP!!!! Just stay on it. Read my post above on few reminders.
     
  14. hillrunner

    hillrunner PMA Member

    Messages:
    1,779
    Likes Received:
    259
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    NW Iowa
    I'm going to try this in a small plot next year. I have been using the dbltree rotation in this plot but the deer keep it mowed to the ground until everything freezes, then they leave it. I'm hoping alfalfa can produce enough tonnage to keep up.
     
  15. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,262
    Likes Received:
    1,140
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    SC Iowa
    Anyone had luck just broadcasting alfalfa? I've got a few marginal clover plots that I'd like to intereseed alfalfa into. The soil is just a bit too sandy.
     
  16. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,294
    Likes Received:
    1,889
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Central, IA
    In could be done. Alfalfa is for sure more fussy than clover. & at $3-5/lbs - I think most avoid it as it’s not ideal. But sure, give it a whirl. Ideally any packing would help. Alfalfa likes a pretty firm seed bed. Would be nice to get 1/8” in too. U could use drill to interseed or u could cultipack after spreading. Another random idea.... lightly disc & pack the existing clover & interseed alfalfa & even some more clovers into it.
    Last side note.... with alfalfa a guy needs to pay closer attention to PH, p&k & even micro nutrients like boron, etc. clearly an “alfalfa cart” is common to be mixed at any coop so all those things common & readily available.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice