Between-Cuttings Fertilizer Boosts Hay Yields

May 24, 2023

Alfalfa and other hay mines the soil of its nutrients.
When the first crop of alfalfa/hay comes off the field, and before second cutting, give your hay crop a yield boost with a well-timed fertilizer application. Hay removes far more nutrients from the soil than a corn crop does. Hay really “mines” the soil.
If your field is predominantly alfalfa, a good application of potassium, sulfur, and boron will feed yields. If you have a blend of alfalfa and/or grass, nitrogen and AMS are your go-to fertilizer choices to improve yields. Apply a “well balanced” fertilizer blend,” said Kevin Carlson, Federated’s agronomy sales manager.
Failing to fertilizer your alfalfa/hay can negatively impact yield potential, and a consistently good fertilization program can help keep the alfalfa/grass plants more productive into subsequent years.
“The soil is like a bank account. You can’t continually make withdrawals without making consistent [nutrient] deposits. Hay can drop soil fertility fast. It needs regular deposits of nutrients,” said Carlson.
To best know what your crop needs, take a quick soil test after first crop to get an accurate picture of where your soils land on the fertility spectrum. Then talk to your Federated Agronomist with questions, including on fertilizer rates, or to schedule application between first and second crop.  

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