When should lucerne be planted?

Establishment: Lucerne is best established during the spring months typically mid August through to late November. However early autumn sowings can also be successful.

How do you prepare land for lucerne?

  1. possibility of deep rooting; no disturbance in the subsoil.
  2. well drained.
  3. pH-KCl on sandy soils: minimum 5,5.
  4. pH-KCl on clay soils: minimum 6,0.
  5. no lucerne grown on the field in the last 4 years.
  6. low weed pressure.

Does lucerne grow in winter?

Lucerne cultivars are classified according to their growth activity during winter. The lower the dormancy class (e.g. Class 2), the more winter dormant and the slower the winter growth will be. Class 9 to 11 cultivars, on the other side of the spectrum, are not winter dormant and will grow during winter.

What is the best fertilizer for lucerne?

Lucerne requires phosphorus and nitrogen at sowing to aid strong establishment. Single super phosphate at 250-300 kg/ha or M.A.P or D.A.P fertiliser at 80-100 kg/ha is recommended to be drilled with the seed.

How do you plant lucerne grass?

The depth of sowing for the Lucerne should be 1 – 2 cm and the seedbed must be fine enough to allow good contact between the seed and the soil. If a companion grass is to be sown then this should be cross drilled or broadcast. It is not recommended to sow the seeds mixed.

How often should lucerne be watered?

Lucerne requires about 1200 mm water/yr to give good production. The volume of water given during irrigation should be sufficient to wet the soil to its full potential (maximum that soil can absorb = field water capacity) while the frequency of irrigation (time between irrigations) should be left as long as possible.

How long does it take for lucerne to germinate?

Once the lucerne is planted, it will take just over a week to germinate (sprout), depending on soil moisture levels. The new plants thrive in spring and summer, and once they reach about one metre in height and have about 10% of the plants flowering, they provide high-quality feed for the cows.

How many times can you harvest lucerne?

 You can cut lucerne five or six times a year.

How much does it cost to grow lucerne?

LABOUR REQUIREMENTS: – labour is not costed in this budget. – According to the above operations, labour required is 2.39hrs/ha. Then multiplying this by 1.25 to allow for machinery repair time etc, and using a basic labour cost of $21.00/hr, the cost of labour is $62.67/ha, increasing the costs to $271.94/ha.

How much is lucerne per hectare?

Yields also depend on the plant population, maintenance of the crop and the variety that has been cultivated. Average yield ranges between 15 000 kg to 30 000 kg per hectare. The first cutting gives an average yield of about 1.5-2 tons/ha. and then the yield increases during subsequent cuttings.

Can you Oversow lucerne?

Oversowing is not recommended as an approach to thicken up lucerne stands as outcomes are highly variable and usually unsatisfactory.

Is alfalfa and lucerne the same?

Alfalfa (/ælˈfælfə/) (Medicago sativa), also called lucerne, is a perennial flowering plant in the legume family Fabaceae. It is cultivated as an important forage crop in many countries around the world. It is used for grazing, hay, and silage, as well as a green manure and cover crop.

How much nitrogen does lucerne fix?

Fixed N removed in lucerne hay from treatment 2 totalled at least 640 kg N ha-‘ in the three years of the experiment. Also, there were substantial increases in soil nitrogen due to lucerne growth.

What is looping in lucerne?

Looping. Removal of all top branches in fodder crops.

How long does it take for lucerne to establish?

the cost, and slow rate (6-12 months) of establishment. low winter production. requirement for rotational grazing for long-term persistence. greater monitoring for insects and susceptibility to being over-grazed.

Is lucerne good for cattle?

Lucerne is especially beneficial to animals when it’s harvested at an early growth stage, ie. when it has the highest amount of protein and the lowest amount of fiber. Harvesting Lucerne as hay is a nutritious source of feed for your cows.

Is lucerne a good cover crop?

Cover-cropping – The annual crop provides an economic return offsetting establishment costs and reduces wind erosion. However, the crop will compete with the seedling lucerne for light, nutrients and water and can cause poor lucerne establishment.

How deep should you plant lucerne?

A full range of machinery types can be used from air seeders to combines; the critical factor is the correct seeding depth. The very small lucerne seed needs to be placed accurately at 0.5-1cm deep into moist soil. Maximise seed-soil contact by using press wheels or a rubber tyred roller.

Is lucerne a summer or winter crop?

Lucerne is a temperate perennial legume capable of producing high quality forage throughout the year, but its main production period falls in the spring, summer and early autumn.


Videos

Barenbrug #BestAdvice on Lucerne Establishment & Management

Dryland Pastures – Effective irrigation of lucerne (alfalfa)

HEDGE LUCERNE/VELIMASAL/DESMANTHUS FODDER SEEDS Growing Hedge lucerne


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