Forage First® & Other Alfalfa

Differences in alfalfa varieties are great. Choose performance over price. Old genetics and commons can’t handle environmental stress like new varieties – high yield, persistence and quality are essential for long stands.

Our lineup includes trusted brands plus new alfalfa genetics and technology including HarvXtra®, Roundup Ready®, Aphanomyces and leafhopper resistance, and more.

Need help picking the right alfalfa? Check out our Alfalfa Decision Tree.

HarvXtra®: Reinventing Alfalfa that Gives Growers Options – Not Limits
Yield or Quality? Have both with HarvXtra®. Benefits include lower lignin, greater flexibility and the same or better yield with less cost. See Resources for much more on these benefits.

Roundup Ready®: When nothing’s in between, there’s room for more.
Roundup Ready® alfalfa is resistant to glyphosate herbicide; used for weed control. Controlling weed pressure during establishment provides potential for more yield, quality, persistence and savings. See Resources for much more on these benefits.

Improved Alfalfa
Our new alfalfa varieties and products offer superior resistance to the latest alfalfa disease and pest threats including Aphanomyces Race 2 (Aph 2) and potato leafhopper – along with higher forage yield and feed quality plus excellent winter survival and persistence.

Branded Alfalfa
Not ready to commit to a premium variety but still want most benefits? Try our excellent yielding Forage First® Premium and Pro Brands, as well as 919® Brand alfalfa. These brands have good disease resistance packages and great genetic history.

See product pages for technology statements.

Establishment: Fast
Persistence: High
Drought Tolerance: High
Winter Hardiness: Varies
Palatability: High
Yield Potential: High
Grazing Tolerance: High

Medicago sativa L. alfalfa is a long-lived perennial legume. Flowers vary in color from purple to yellow and are born in loose clusters. Pods range from sickle type to those twisted into spirals. Each pod contains several small kidney-shaped seeds. Alfalfa is indeterminate and stems can reach several ft. long. New growth occurs from buds in crown. The plant has a taproot which may reach 25 ft. Compound leaves alternate on stem and are normally trifoliate, although there are commercial multifoliate varieties.

Seeding Rate:
Alone (lbs./acre): 15-20
Mixes (lbs./acre): 8-10
Seeds/lb.: 227,000
Depth (in.): 1/4 (fine textured soil); 1/2 (sandy soil)

Planting Time:
Mar.-May; Aug.-Sept.
Emergence (days): 7
Life Cycle: Perennial

Grows best on deep, well-drained, friable soil with pH 6.5-7.5.

Plant alfalfa seed in clean, smooth, firm seedbed with adequate moisture. Ensure good surface drainage. Do not seed as first crop on newly leveled land where fill may settle and cause poor surface drainage. A combination drill and packer is desirable. Cultipack soil before and after seeding to help stand establishment.

Spring seeding can occur 30 days before last killing frost. Late summer-sown alfalfa seed can also be successful. Allow for adequate growth prior to first killing frost.

Rotational Grazing:

Graze early bloom (1/4 in. bloom) to 2 in. Potential bloat hazard. Use caution when grazing. Alfalfa best withstands grazing if rotated frequently or grazed in small strips.

Hay or Haylage Harvest:

Cut early bloom; last cutting should be 3-4 wks. before first killing frost.

Roundup Ready®:

To maximize benefit of Roundup Ready® alfalfa, apply glyphosate to alfalfa seedling at 3-5 trifoliate stage with weeds less than 4 in. tall.

Alfalfa Products