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Fertilizing Alfalfa Following First Cutting (06/15/17)

The ideal time to fertilize alfalfa is following first cutting. For most of the state this is now, before regrowth takes off.

Fertilizing Alfalfa Following First Cutting

The ideal time to fertilize alfalfa is following first cutting. For most of the state this is now, before regrowth takes off. Following soil test results, if the phosphorus level is 11 ppm or below, application of 100 pounds 11-52-0 per acre would pay premiums of greater hay yield in the future. In addition, alfalfa hay harvest takes off about 50 pounds K2O per ton. If the previous year hay crop was 4 ton, and 1 ton was removed at first harvest, then the grower should consider the application of 5 X 50 pounds K2O, or 250 pounds K2O, or a little over 400 pounds 0-0-60 per acre to replace its loss IF soil test K is less than 200 ppm. If the soil test K was more than 200 ppm, then thank your field for the favor and K replacement is not necessary to sustain good yields. A revision of the alfalfa fertility circular will be published later this summer with more specific recommendations.

Franzen.1

 

Dave Franzen

NDSU Extension Soil Specialist

701-799-2565

This site is supported in part by the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program [grant no. 2017-70006-27144/accession 1013592] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the website author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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