Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, February 11, 1984, Image 70

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    B3o—Lancaster Farming, Saturday, February 11,1984
DeKALB, n. The keys to
maximizing return on investment
in alfalfa depend on successful
stand establishment and
management. There are many
factors that need special attention.
Establishment begins with
variety selection. Yield and
resistance to diseases and insects
are primary considerations when
selecting an alfalfa variety. Many
alfalfa varieties offer relatively
good yield potential but vary
markedly ih resistance to disease
and insects. The importance of
resistance to a particular disease
is somewhat dependent upon the
geographic area. However,
varieties that have high levels of
resistance to several diseases offer
the best opportunity for profitable
Winter hardiness, ability to
recover quickly from intensive
cutting schedules, and adaptability
to long rotations should also be
considered when selecting an
alfalfa variety.
USDA post
to Harris
Clare I. Harris has
been named associate
administrator of the
U.S. Department of
Agriculture’s Cooperat
ive State Research
Service, Orville G.
Bentley, assistant
secretary for science
and education, said
Harris will assist the
agency’s administrator,
John Patrick Jordan, in
running the agency,
which administers
USDA research grants
at land grant univer
sities and other in
stitutions throughout
the United States.
Harris began his
career with USDA in
1962 as a soil scientist
with another USDA
agency, the
Agricultural Research
In 1967, he joined the
Cooperative State
Research Service as a
horticulturist and
subsequently became
director of plant science
programs. He was bron
in Ontario County, N.Y.,
and received his B.S.
degree from Cornell
University in 1955. He
holds M.S. and Ph.D,
degrees in horticulture
from Purdue Univer
on getting the most from alfalfa
Alfalfa should be seeded as early
as possible in the spring or, if fall
seeded, six weeks ahead of the
normal date of the first killing
frost. A firm, well prepared
seedbed is essential to establish
good seed-soil contact and ger
mination. A seeding method should
be selected that places seed at a
uniform Vi-to te-inch depth on
heavy soil; Vi- to 1-inch on sandy
soil. Only high quality, properly
inoculated seed should be used.
Under ideal conditions, a seeding
rate of 10 to 12 pounds per acre is
adequate. Heavier rates of 15 to 18
pounds per acre are recommended
when broadcast seeding, where
seedbeds are less than ideal, on
lighter soils, when chemicals are
used to control weeds, or where
harvesting is planned during the
seeding year.
Companion crops are not
recommended unless needed to
control soil erosion while the
alfalfa seedlings are becoming
established. When a companion
crop is used, the seeding rate of the
companion should be reduced to
avoid excessive competition with
the alfalfa. Early removal of the
companion crop is also recom
Soil tests should be used to
determine fertility needs. A soil
test will also indicate whether lime
is needed. Under most conditions,
a soil pH of 6.5 to 7.0 is optimum for
maximum alfalfa production. Soils
having a pH below 6.0 should be
limed six months prior to seeding
alfalfa to allow enough reaction
time to adjust the soil pH. Most
essential nutrients are more
avaiable to plants at pH values
above 6.0.
Soil test values of 30 to 40 pounds
per acre extractable P and 250 to
300 pounds per acre exchangeable
K are adequate for producing good
yields of alfalfa. To sustain yields
and maintain stands, annual ap
plications of phosphorus and
potassium should replace what the
crop removes. Each ton of alfalfa
produced removes about 10 pounds
phosphate (P 205) and 50 potash
(K2O). Top-dress fertilzer can be
applied any time it is convenient.
Under high yield management
where annual fertilizer ap
plications are large, the fertilizer
should be applied half following the
first cutting and half following the
last. Such an application keeps
alfalfa growing through the
and encourages a fast start in the
Cutting three or four times a
year at first bloom produces the
highest yield of hay, protein, and
TON. A rule of thumb is to cut at
1/10 bloom. The last cutting in the
fall should be taken 4 to 6 weeks
before the expected date of the
first killing frost. This allows time
for root reserves to be replenished
before winter dormancy. Late fall
cutting or grazing of dormant
alfalfa should be done in a manner
that leaves sufficient stubble to
catch and hold snow for plant
protection during the winter.
Peak production, cost control, profit, loss
they’re part of any business, including
a successful potato farming operation
These days, a farmer has to follow
good business practices to stay ahead
And one product that keeps him ahead
is TEMIK" aldicarb pesticide
TEMIK improves the bottom line
because it does so much to improve pota
toes By protecting developing roots from
nematodes Controlling Colorado potato
beetles and aphids for 90 days Returning
high yields of high quality potatoes And
consistently out-performing any other
single product
It may seem to cost more per acre
But with all TEMIK aldicarb does, it
actually lowers the cost of producing
each potato And that means a better
return, no matter what the market price
TEMIK is definitely a considered
purchase But when vou consider what
it does, the decision is perfectly clear
Temik o
AlO'C f’LSfU '[U
PO Box 12014 TW Alexander Onve
Research Triangle Park NC 27709
As with any agricultural chemical always follow instructions on
the label TEMIK is a registered trademark for aldicarb pesticide
SMOKETOWN, PA PH. 717-299-2571
Rotating alfalfa fields with other
crops is the key to successful
renovation of alfalfa stands.
Research suggests that alfalfa
plants may release phytotoxic
factors that are detrimental to re
establishing alfalfa within a year.
Although alfalfa auto-toxicity is
not clearly understood, research
results show a significant ad
vantage for rotating to other crops
following alfalfa. This advantage
seems especially pronounced for
To Better
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