Alfalfa Woes in a Wet Year

Jun 26, 2024

baled alfalfa
If you are an alfalfa grower this year, your patience is being tried. Just when the early spring got your crop off to a good start, it rained. And then it rained some more … more and more rain,” said Craig Loen, Federated ag sales rep at the Osceola location.
“First crop has been very challenging,” said Loen. The windows of sunshine haven’t stayed open for long stretches, and everyone is frustrated.
Consequently, growers have lower quality alfalfa, high tonnage, poor drying conditions, and water ponding in fields. And there’s the fear of tearing up fields with muddy ruts.
Loen said, “Be patient. Keep your chin up.” The conditions will eventually be right for harvest. And in the meantime, seriously consider adding fertilizer to boost second and third crops. The mobile nutrients, urea and AMS, have moved down into the soil profile, especially in the grassy alfalfa stands.
Even in an average year (moisture-wise), “you always need to add DAP and potash,” Loen said. Once you harvest a crop, replenish the nutrients. Soil tests and tissue samples (see this article) can give you a picture of what’s really going on; your Federated Agronomist can help with those.
“And,” said Loen, “don’t forget about the bugs.” Alfalfa weevils and other pests need to be scouted for and addressed as needed.
Your Federated Agronomist is ready to help deal with the woes of a wet year. Call soon.

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