Lucerne can be sown from April right through the spring and summer. For dryland production, a sowing rate of 1–5kg/ha is recommended; for irrigated lucerne 10–15kg/ha. Most producers use 1-1.5 kg seed per ha with the aim of getting 3-7 plants per 300 mm in a row. After lucerne has been harvested, it continues to respire actively for a short while. Plants grow more erect and are therefore more accessible to pollinators, there is more light, and soil and air temperatures are higher early in the season. A sowing density of 300 g/ha has, however, been used with great success. Normally, 20 kg N and 100 kg P2O5/ha should be applied as the basal dose for a good harvest. With a simple fertilizer plan, Lucerne can be hugely successful and help costs during a time of increasing imports, according to Harper Adams University agronomist, Louisa Dines. Steps are already been taken to BAN prepping... especially stockpiling food right here in America. The quantity of stems and leaves is equal at early flowering stage, but by late flowering 60% of the total yield consists of stems and only 40% of leaves. For summer sowings it is recommended to sow after an early harvested cereal such as winter barley. The potential number of cuts under irrigation can vary from 2-12 per season, depending on dormancy. Trifluralin, @ 4 kg/ha should be applied before sowing for a good harvest. It must be rotationally grazed to allow recovery time, or ensure a back fence is used if strip-grazing a field; Work from the USA suggests that continuous stocking reduces plant survival by 15–22% over two years compared with rotational grazing The cultivation and management of mixtures is therefore complex, more so as research results in SA are also limited. The process takes 2-3 weeks. For good persistence it must be grazed or cut on rotation. One deep plowing with 2-3 harrowings followed by planking is sufficient. The relation between the stage of maturity and yield, quality and sustainability makes it clear why the growth stage is often used to decide when to cut. After seed has set there is need to guard against too high a moisture content in the air, which may result in seed damage. The critical level of moisture is determined by storage conditions, temperature and ventilation. Paddock selection is an important part of lucerne seed production. If it is intended to produce basic seed, must be at least 200 m wide where the area intended for production is 2 ha or less, and at least 100 m wide where the area intended is more than 2 ha, and, If it is intended to produce certified seed, must be at least 100 m wide where the area intended for production is 2 ha or less, and at least 50 m wide where the intended area is more than 2 ha, In the case of planned production of basic seed, these plants have been established from breeders seed of the same cultivar, and. Poor quality hay may be the result of rain damage. Lucerne is traditionally used to make hay, but the weather conditions may sometimes be unsuitable. Its deeper root system makes it very well adaptable to dry areas with irrigation facilities. The first cut should be taken at 55-65 days after sowing and the subsequent cuts may be taken at 30-35 days interval. This also means there is a requirement to leave a gap of five to six years between crops. Its drought resistant and high yielding. The low pH inhibits the further growth of bacteria and the activity of enzymes. The Ayam Cemani chicken really is a modern and relatively fresh breed of p... Assaf sheep is an Israel breed that is mainly raised for milk. Line sowing is preferred over broadcasting. After the lucerne is cut in the spring, the regrowth will begin flowering within 30-40 days, depending on cultivar. As a result, extra carbohydrate is necessary to allow the bacteria to form the lactic acid, acetic acid and proprionic acid that will preserve the silage. This is a reaction to the reduction in daylength and temperature. The number of cuts, cutting date, stage of maturity, interval between cuts and cutting height are factors to be taken into account in a harvest schedule. Apart from the fact that chemical weed control is impossible, the following are the main reasons for this: Because more vigorous and long-lived lucerne cultivars have been developed, as well as improved management practices, it is seldom the case today that the grass component predominates over the lucerne after a couple of seasons. From a plant-physiological point of view the tendency of the lucerne and the grass to compete for light, water, and nutritional elements, are further factors deter-mining the success of a mixture. If sown in spring, August and September would be the best months to sow. High nutritive value Lucerne is usually grown for silage as a pure stand or mixed with grass, but can also be grazed or undersown to spring cereals. Cutting at a specific growth stage also makes it possible to take into account the variation due to various environments and growth tempos. It is expected that the period between Planting to first cut is 42 days. Time of sowing For higher rainfall southern regions, successful spring sowing of lucerne is achievable. There must be sufficient water through the spring and summer to prevent stress while the flowers are being pollinated and the seed is ripening. Once seed is nearly ripe, irrigation should be completely stopped. Increasing appreciation of the value of high-quality lucerne in terms of potential savings in energy and protein supplementation, have resulted in reconsideration of harvest-strategies. Lucerne grows best in loose soil and performs miserably in waterlogged areas. Highly productive 7. Establishment: Lucerne is best established during the spring months typically mid August through to late November. The longer the hay remains on the land, the greater the loss of leaves. In South Africa most lucerne seed is produced in the lower Orange River, Little Karoo and Calvinia districts. It is ideal to use machinery that will cut and load the lucerne in fewer operations. greater risk of sowing the lucerne too deep. Suited to irrigated and non irrigated land, Lucerne is a versatile & high yielding perennial crop with excellent forage quality aspects. The principles for making lucerne silage are the same as for maize silage, except that maize has a higher concentration of fermentable carbohydrate which makes it unnecessary to supplement carbohydrate. The more dormant the cultivar, the more the crown is protected, and the more the lucerne is resistant to damage-related crown- and root-diseases. If used during flowering time, overhead irrigation can so reduce pollination that losses of up to 15% may result. In the case of planned production of certified seed, these plants have been established from basic seed of the same cultivar. Damage to young growth should be kept to a minimum. in silos, bunkers, plastic bags or by wrapping it in plastic. The akasbel (Cuscuta reflexa) should be removed from the field and burnt. Losses due to overheating, mould and breakdown of carbohydrates in lucerne hay that has been baled too damp (more than 20% moisture content) can be reduced by reducing plant and microbial metabolism. Producers who want only high quality lucerne will prefer a shorter stand and lower yield. Correct irrigation during the flowering periods. It therefore have a lower netto energy thus a lower feed value. It is a good practice to allow the last growth of the autumn to develop to full flowering to restore reserves, and only cut again in the spring. Lucerne prefers fertile soil which is rich in organic matter, calcium, phosphorus, and potash. To attain good germination, pre-sowing irrigation is essential. Lucerne is usually cut or grazed before seed matures. If it is necessary to cut the lucerne because of water shortage before it has fully flowered, then the spring growth should be allowed to grow out. Crimping of lucerne can shorten drying time by up to a day. This will prevent sufficient lactic acid forming, and the resulting high pH encourages the breakdown of plant material. Lucerne belongs to the legume family, which means that, working with soil bacteria called rhizobia, it is able to fix nitrogen to make it available for plant growth. Nitrogen fixed by Rhizobium is available for the grass component (especially under grazing), and little or no N supplementation is needed during the season. Alternatively, sow in the summer following an early-harvested cereal such as winter barley. This is recommended only for lucerne intended for seed production, with a limited lifespan, not for hay or grazing. Planting Depth: It can be direct-seeded, or planted into forestry tubes … Lengthy exposure to air can result in the loss of available carbohydrates. Most hair roots occur in the upper 15-30 cm of soil, and these are responsible for 85% of the nutrient uptake of the plant. Silage is an alternative means of retaining nutritional quality. The advantages of establishing mixtures cannot be denied: Regions characterised by warm sunny summers with little or no summer rain are ideal for production of lucerne seed. Traditionally, lucerne is allowed to grow for about 6 weeks between grazing episodes. Foliar feeding has a relatively small influence on seed production. The protein is of outstanding quality with a good amino acid profile, especially for non-ruminant animals such as pigs, poultry, ostriches and horses. Yield is higher with lucerne mixtures than with pure lucerne. Seed producers must irrigate lucerne till before flowering, and again after pollination is complete. Dual purpose (grazing and hay) 6. Lucerne must be allowed to grow out to full flowering once a year. Like berseem, Lucerne also needs very fine seedbed, as the seeds are very small. In the temperate zone, spring sowing is done in March. Isolation. Cover crop options/techniques. The timing of placement of the hives in the lands is very important because early placement may result in the bees searching for other sources of food. It is simpler to control weeds when lucerne is still at the seedling stage. Lucerne takes a long time to establish and therefore heavy weed infestation occurs up to first cutting. It should be grazed as rapidly as possible for 7-10 days when in the late vegetative stage. Like berseem, Lucerne also needs very fine seedbed, as the seeds are very small. Lucerne silage can be divided into three types: high moisture silage made immediately from the cut lucerne while it still has a moisture content of 70%; wilted silage, which has 60-70% moisture, and low moisture silage with a moisture content of 40-60%. Overhead irrigation can be used successfully in seed production, especially on sandy soil where specific volumes of water must be given. It also reduces leaf drop. It is perennial (3-4 years), persistent, productive, and drought-tolerant forage legume which contains 15% crude protein with 72% dry matter digestibility. You can cut lucerne five or six times a year. The crop needs very frequent irrigation during its early growth period at an interval of about one week but once the plants are established, subsequent irrigation isprovided at an interval of 15-20 days during winter and 10-12 days during spring and summer seasons. In order to prevent seepage from the silo and the production of poor quality silage, the lucerne must remain in the windrows until moisture content is about 65%. Deep rooting, extracts water and nutrients from depth, restricts watertable recharge 3. Learn more about Monrovia plants and best practices for best possible plant performance. The time interval between grazing periods is the most critical factor. Ensiling lucerne has many advantages over making hay, when it comes to retaining quality. A group of farmers in Norfolk have teamed up with researchers to investigate whether it’s possible for lucerne to provide extended grazing for sheep in the UK. Small quantities of nitrogen and phosphate (15-20 kg/ha) can be applied at or before planting time to encourage growth and development of the young plants, which are not yet at a stage where they can fix sufficient N for themselves. Milled maize, barley, wheat, oats or molasses can be used to provide carbohydrates for fermentation. Weeds reduce the stand and the yield, complicate harvesting, increase cost of cleaning and may contaminate successive crops. The water-soaked seed is sown in shallow furrows at a row distance of 30 cm by seed drill. Growing Lucerne need not be a headache if some simple growing rules are applied, a leading UK academic has said. Lucerne prefers fertile soil which is rich in organic matter, calcium, phosphorus, and potash. Options include: sowing the cover crop first followed by the lucerne weeks or months later. If it is under irrigation, then the best time for this is from the middle of May to the middle of June. Monrovia's Lucerne Blue-Eyed Grass details and information. Lucerne - the plant. In drier areas, where leaf diseases are fewer, the maximum amount of nutrients is still available up till 50% flowering. How much money can you make from worm farming? Also, a strong supporter of sustainable farming practices. 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