Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is a cool season perennial legume living from three to twelve years, depending on variety and climate. Alfalfa seed is most commonly planted for hay production, wildlife food plots and grazing. Alfalfa is the most popular legume in the world for hay and forage production for cattle and horses. Alfalfa resembles clover with clusters of small purple flowers containing high protein, vitamin and mineral rich leaves and stems. Alfalfa is very appealing to all forms of wildlife and remains as one of the best Alfalfa seed is commonly sprouted and eaten by humans as well.
- Highest feeding value of all common hay crops
- Nitrogen-fixing abilities
- Highest yielding forage plant
- Wide range of adaptation
- High protein content
Alfalfa Food Plot Seed grows to a height of up to 3 ft, and has a deep root system sometimes stretching to 15 ft. This makes it very resilient, especially to droughts. It has a tetraploid genome. The plant exhibits auto-toxicity, which means that it is difficult for alfalfa seed to grow in existing stands of alfalfa. Therefore, it is recommended that alfalfa fields be rotated with other species (for example, corn or wheat) before reseeding.
Like other legumes its root nodules contain bacteria, Sinorhizobium meliloti, with the ability to fix nitrogen, producing a high-protein feed regardless of available nitrogen in the soil. Its nitrogen-fixing abilities (which increases soil nitrogen) and its use as an animal feed greatly improved agricultural efficiency. (The nitrogen comes from the air, which is 78 percent molecular nitrogen.)
Alfalfa is widely grown throughout the world as forage for cattle, and is most often harvested as hay, but can also be made into silage, grazed, or fed as greenchop. Alfalfa has the highest feeding value of all common hay crops, being used less frequently as pasture. When grown on soils where it is well-adapted, alfalfa is the highest yielding forage plant.
Plant these seeds at a rate of 18 - 20 lbs per acre in the Fall or Spring. Ensure that these seeds are at a depth of 1/4 - 1/2 inch and watered daily for optimal germination.