Evaluate Alfalfa Stands Early

Getting out in the alfalfa fields early offers the best opportunity to evaluate the stand. Look for winterkill now so that remedies can be put in place yet this spring.

Duane Droogsma, Federated Agronomist at the Rush City location, defined how to evaluate the stand:

  • Are there at least five healthy plants per square foot?
  • Are there 10-15 healthy shoots or buds per plant?
  • Dig down; do the roots look healthy? (Roots that are gray and water-soaked, or brown, dehydrated, and stringy are indicators of winter kill.)

If 50% or more of a field shows signs of damage, it's time to discuss remedies, such as rotating into corn or soybeans. And, whether damaged or healthy, it's important to fertilizer alfalfa annually with potash (boron and some form of sulfur), Droogsma said.

Talk to your Federated Agronomist with any alfalfa questions or concerns. View this fact sheet for additional info.