Alfalfa is a long-lived, introduced, perennial crop widely grown for pasture and hay. Alfalfa requires well drained soil and in the Four Corners region, at least 30 inches of water each season to produce favorable yields. There are two major classes of alfalfa. Common types are older strains that are characterized by drought tolerance and long stand persistence. Improved modern varieties are bred for higher productivity and disease resistance. Alfalfa’s are categorized by their dormancy and winter hardiness. (see Alfalfa management guide in references.) The lower the number i.e. Dormancy 2, the more fall dormant and winter hardy the alfalfa is. So a Dormancy 2 works well at high altitudes and in extremely cold winters and a Dormancy 8 alfalfa is suited to warm climates and long growing seasons.
- Type: Alfalfas
- Latin Name: Medicago sativa
- Height: variable
- Sun/Shade Tolerance: 1 - Very Sunny
- Min. Precipitation: 12" - 40"
- Seeds Per Pound: 200,000
- Native/Introduced: Introduced
- Annual/Perrenial: Perennial
- Blossom Color: Purple
- Bloom Period: Summer
- Bloat: Yes
- Planting Rate: 10-25 lbs/acre
- Cold Hardiness: n/a
- Variety Release Sheet: http://wci.colostate.edu/Assets/pdf/ForageManual/IChapter15.pdf
- USDA Sheet: https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/DocumentLibrary/factsheet/pdf/fs_mesa.pdf
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