Fertilize Alfalfa/Hay Between Cuttings

Jun 13, 2022


Alfalfa yields benefit from fertilizer between first and second cuttings
Once you’ve baled this year’s first cutting of alfalfa/hay, head back to the field and apply fertilizer before the second cutting. The choice of fertilizer depends on the blend of alfalfa and/or grass in your field, according to Ron Paulson, Federated’s Isanti location manager.
 
“Focus on potassium and boron if you have primarily alfalfa,” he said, “and if it’s an alfalfa/grass mix, make sure you apply plenty of nitrogen and AMS.”
 
Of course, “soil testing is always very important – you’re just taking a shot in the dark otherwise,” Paulson said. A soil test soon after first cutting will help you know exactly what nutrients are needed.
 
Like any crop input this year, fertilizer prices are high – but so is the price of hay, at $5-$8 per small bale, Paulson noted. Take advantage of those hay prices and bump up yields with timely fertilizer applications.
 
And while you’re out soil sampling or fertilizing, “watch for leaf hoppers and alfalfa weevils,” said Paulson. Spray for bugs because they “can zap the crop more than anything.” (Kevin Carlson, Federated agronomy sales manager, noted on June 13th that the weevils are "definitely out there, and growers will need to spray for them.")
 
Talk to your Federated Agronomist with any alfalfa/hay questions or concerns.

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