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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We planted about 25 more acres this spring to hay and due the really wet spring, there is not a lot of alfalfa in certain places. We are trying to decide weather or not to drill some alfalfa in, and I was wondering when the best time to seed it is. If it should be drilled in this fall or spring?
 

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Hay Master
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If you sowed it this past spring this fall is your last chance to thicken it up , By next spring it will be to late, Also i dont know if it was very thin that might make a difference but i really dont know
THOMAS
 
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You might check with your county extension agent but It would think it would be too late to seed in Northern IL. You defintly have moisture to get it started but may run out of time for it to get mature enough to take a hard freeze. In Northeren Indiana Labor Day is the rule of thumb for latest you want to seed.

I have the same problem with thin spots but we were very dry in August when I needed to reseed. I decided on hitting it in March.

You should be alright though up to a year on reseeding without fear of autotoxicity. If you have the time and a little money to gamble try reseeding now and hit it again in the spring. After all farming is gambling.


In the early spring I have good luck broadcasting into wet sticky soil with a Herd Broadcast Seeder on a 4-wheeler.

I have seen some of my no-till alfalfa seed come up this spring following last years drought where I didn't see it last year. It is tougher than I thought and I guess it has a great desire to survive. Keep us updated!

Good Luck!
HHH
 

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downtownjr
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You are probably too late to seed being up in Lee County. It would be a great deal of risk. You should be able to hit some bare spots with a broadcast spreader or even no-till the bare spots because you are getting them the first year... but according to the class I had at the University of Illinois you are on the bubble. The handout I have from U of I states that if you have around .2 old plants or less per square foot you should be OK, at .4 plants you will have lower yield, which will increase as the number rises to about 1.3 plants or more per square foot when the failure rate is very high. I assume these areas flooded...I would recommend watching your soil test for those areas...wetter soils or those that flooded are much more acidic...making it hard to get a good start next spring. By the way watch the workshops from the University of Illinois this winter. I had some great soil and forage workshops (lots of alfalfa discussion) from those guys when I lived in Illinois. Very informative... great reference material and always helpful. Many were on a Saturday. I was in the SW part of the state. Here in Indiana, Purdue has never came close to a U of I workshop and I have attended several from each. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. I'll have to talk to my dad and see what he wants to do. There are spots where there is only ryegrass, and other places where there is quite a bit of alfalfa. This was planted when it was almost wet(there was a spot where we had to come back to plant the wet hole) After we got it planted, we also had a really wet spring, and we figure that had something to do with it. We seeded 15 acres last year and it was dry in the spring and wet in the late summer. That hay has a beautiful stand. The fact that its sandy soil might have something to do with it also. I was thinking of taking soil samples this fall again. We did put dry fertilizer on this summer along with a foliar feed and that seemed to help it. I'll keep you guys posted.
 
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I read an article in Hay & Forage last month about no-tilling alfalfa into frozen ground. I like the idea. It would keep you from no-tilling to deep in the soft spots and would solve the problem of soft ground in late winter early spring. The seed should lay dormint until the soils warm up.

HHH
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll have to think about that. it sounds like a good idea to me. On a different note, How do you like Hay and Forage? Is it worth subscribing to?
 
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