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Replanting alfalfa...how long to wait?

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#1 TooFast4U



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Posted 23 August 2008 - 12:36 PM

I know most recommendations are to keep a field out of alfalfa for a year before reseeding, but has anyone tried it in 5 months?

Here's the deal...

The "big midwestern late spring freeze of 2007" killed off 2/3 of the remaining plants in an old, dwindling alfalfa/orchardgrass stand. We applied some extra N in '07 and got a couple more cuttings (heavy on orchardgrass, but with a surprising amount of alfalfa), with the plan being to break the field out of alfalfa after 1st cutting in 2008.

Things have gone as expected in 2008. After 1st cutting (in May) we disked the field 2x, plus ran a DoAll and mulcher over it to establish some teff in June.

We did a good job getting rid of the alfalfa: I don't see *any* alfalfa plants in the teff stand. But have to wonder whether the allelopathic effect would still likely be a problem for a new alfalfa stand established this fall (September).

Experiences anyone?

#2 greenacres


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Posted 24 August 2008 - 02:15 PM

I am in east central Iowa and have tried fall seeding three times and wasnt very successful, as far as the autotoxicity in my opinion I think you are pushing it, one of my fall seedings was just what you are doing and I didn't get a very good take on seeding. If the little alfalfa comes up and you turn off hot and dry it will hurt. But you can always reseed next spring. If you do seed this fall put some N down to help the seed get started maybe 30 to 40#.
It's your seed but in (my opinion only) I would wait till next spring

#3 Indy Farmer

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 02:37 PM

That has worked well for us in west southwest indiana. Probably pushing it with only five months IMO. Our soils are little sandier here, so if we fall seed and it turns up dry as mentioned above, the stand suffers. If you do seed, let us know how it works.



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Posted 28 August 2008 - 06:09 PM

I always like to go either beans or corn, then go with wheat in behind either crop to put alfalfa in the fall if tou can. Mother nature has a problem with me sowing any this fall because of lack of rain. Corn is dieing down and soybeans wont be to far behind, this is almost like last year all over again, but this year could be worse JUST MY 2 CENTS THOMAS

#5 Rodney R

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 08:06 PM

I think that's too soon. Supposedly the alleopathic effect has been bred out of the current alfalfa varieties, but I'm not willing to make that gamble. I'd no-till some wheat in there, and then plant for next fall. Here in PA, a spring seeding is nearly worthless, as we almost always turn dry, but then get a decent amount of moisture towards fall. Right now I'm waiting on some moisture to settle lime and moisten the ground to plant some alfalfa.


#6 hay wilson in TX

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 03:50 PM

It depends where you are. Here I can plant into an older thinning out stand.
I do not know the why of it. It may be the high 8 pH, it may be the heavy clay, it may be our hot droughty summers or a combinatins of these and other factors.

#7 Diamondgfarm


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Posted 13 February 2009 - 05:02 PM

We have sprayed/killed alfalfa in the fall and replanted in the spring (March) and got along fine.

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