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Legume
Legume Seed | Alfalfa | Alsike Clover | Birdsfoot Trefoil | Crownvetch | Hairyvetch |
Ladino Clover | Korean Lespedeza | Red Clover | Sweetclover | White Dutch Clove

Grass
Grass Seed | Orchardgrass | Tall Fescue | Perennial Ryegrass | K. Bluegrass | Timothy | Reed Canarygrass
Smooth Bromegrass | Big  Bluestem | Switchgrass | Indiangrass | Sorghum  X  Sudan | Sudangrass

AlfalfaMedicago sativa L.

Alfalfa plant
Alfalfa Variety Trials

Longevity:

Perennial

Palatability:

Very High

Winter Hardiness:

Good

Drought Tolerance:

Good

Cool or Warm Season:

Cool

Bloat Hazard:

Yes

Use and Comments:

Hay, silage, pasture, green manure crop.

Distribution in U.S.:

Northern half; increasing acreage in the Southeast

Height:

15-36 inches

Raceme consists of 5 to 20 florets commonly purple but some may be blue, yellow, and cream.

Leaves:

Pinnately trifoliolate (three leaflets per leaf); serrations on tip of leaflets; stipules have teeth, lobes and sharp pointed tips. 

Some varieties have a multifoliate charactersitic as seen in the following image.

Roots:

Long, deep taproot.

Alfalfa blossoms


Alfalfa Leaflets
alfalfa_blooms.JPG (20962 bytes)


multi_fol.JPG (24438 bytes)
Alf_leaflet_ser.JPG (11759 bytes)

Alfalfa Root with Nodules

Soil
Drainage:

Well Drained
Fertility:
High

pH:

6.6-7.2

 
 
Seed
Color:

Yellow to greenish-yellow, browning with age.

Shape:

Kidney

Pounds Per Bushel:

60

Seeds Per Pound:

200,000

Seeding Rate:

12-15 pounds PLS per acre

Seeding Date (Indiana):

Mar 1 to May 1 or Aug 1 to Sept 1

Emergence Time (Days):

7

Optimum Germ. Temp. (F):

70

Alfalfa Seed\

 

 

For more forage information contact Dr. Keith Johnson: johnsonk@purdue.edu

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