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Alfalfa

Alfalfa is the forage base of many farms across the Midwest.

Description

Alfalfa is the forage base of many farms across the Midwest. It is a legume that can fix most of its own nitrogen, it is deep rooted to give drought tolerance, and it grows pretty well during the hotter part of the summer. Due to the pressures of the rotation schedule on many farms today, typically, alfalfa stands are only in production for three or four years. It is important to get all the yield possible in this short time and it is these high performing varieties that Byron Seeds focuses on.

Management

Once established, alfalfa stand can last for many years. Many modern varieties can handle 28 day cutting schedules and, in fact, some elite varieties need that type of management to perform their best. One very critical aspect of alfalfa management is knowing when to take the last cutting in the fall. By using Growing Degree Days (GDD) you can determine the best time to take the last fall cutting. An early fall cut can be taken as long as the plants can accumulate more than 500 GDD to replenish root reserves. A late fall cutting can be taken as long as no more than 200 GDD will accumulate before killing frost (25°F).

Establishment

Alfalfa can be planted in the spring or late summer, but we recommend late summer whenever possible. If spring sown, a nurse crop of grass or small grain is recommended to maximize the tonnage in the seeding year. We usually recommend seeding grass with alfalfa to give a higher tonnage, better quality feed for the life of the stand. Alfalfa exhibits autotoxicity, which means established plants (older than 6 months) give off compounds that prevent new alfalfa seedlings from establishing.

KF 601H
Information Sheets

Description:

Finally, Byron has a Hybrid Alfalfa for those in the southern half of the Byron Seeds territory. This alfalfa is for aggressive cutters who want to start cutting a little earlier in the spring and also have one more cutting in the fall. This alfalfa is for the 25 to 28 day cutter and, of course, it retains the same qualities of KF402H, that is, the finer stems, the dense stands, and the exceptional quality. KF601H is a Fall Dormancy 6 and a Winter-Hardiness 2.

Zones: 4,5,6
KF 403CR
Information Sheets

Description:

  • New creeping alfalfa that will spread by rhizomes
  • Good for grazing
  • Very persistent
  • Well established variety
Zones: 1,2,3,4,5
KF 243
Information Sheets

Description:

  • StandFast™ technology
  • Very winterhardy
  • Rapid regrowth for 28 day cutting schedules
  • Excellent fall growth potential
  • Exceptional tonnage potential
Zones: 1,2,3,4,5
KF 402H
Information Sheets

Description:

  • Latest generation hybrid
  • Winner of many yield trials across the Midwest
  • Extremely fine-stemmed for maximum quality
  • Our best alfalfa for 28 day cutting schedules
  • 7-10% higher yielding
Zones: 1,2,3,4,5,6
KF Excelerator
Information Sheets

Description:

  • Higher quality & 25% faster growing
  • StandFast™ technology gives great standability
  • High leaf to stem ratio
  • Needs well drained soils
  • Must cut every 26-28 days
Zones: 1,2,3,4,5
KF 222
Information Sheets

Description:

  • Branch rooted variety for wetter and heavier clay soils
  • Very persistent and disease resistant, tolerates traffic, resists heaving
  • Superior winter survival
  • Very dense
  • Wide area of adaption and soil types
Zones: 1,2,3,4,5
KF 101
Information Sheets

Description:

  • Consists of good varieties that have been overproduced
  • A good alfalfa at a great price
  • Placed well at World Dairy Expo super Bowl
  • Needs well drained soils
  • Yield and persistence are better than average
Zones: 1,2,3,4,5,6
KF 4020
Information Sheets

Description:

  • Excellent disease package
  • Yield trial leader in Ohio
  • Very high first year yields
  • Tolerates stresses from wet soil to drought
Zones: 1,2,3,4,5
KF 401B
Information Sheets

Description:

  • Branch rooted variety
  • Excellent regrowth
  • High forage quality
  • Organic seed available in 2013
Zones: 1,2,3,4,5,6
KF 444
Information Sheets

Description:

  • Branch rooted variety for wetter and heavier clay soils
  • Branch root resists heaving
  • More traffic and stress tolerant
  • Best disease resistance
  • Exceptional winter hardiness
Zones: 1,2,3,4,5
KF 30-30
Information Sheets

Description:

  • Great disease package, 30 out of 30
  • Needs well drained soils
  • Good winter hardiness
  • Does not yield as well as some of the "race horse" varieties
  • Does not need the aggressive management of the "race horse" varieties
Zones: 1,2,3,4,5