1. Establishing a new field
Choice of variety
Soil type and requirements
|Sowing period||Seed rate||Sowing depth||Row distance|
From: mid-March - end of April*
Until: end of August*
|25 - 30 kg/ha||1 - 2 cm||8 - 12.5 cm**|
* This might vary depending on the area of usage.
Mixing lucerne with grasses
|Mixing Partners||Seed rate (kg/ha)|
|Lucerne - Cocksfoot||10 - 15||8 - 10|
|Lucerne - Bromus||15 - 20||25 - 30|
|Lucerne - Bromus||15 - 20||15 - 20|
|Lucerne - Tall fescue||10 - 15||10 - 12|
2. FertilizationLucerne is a perennial crop with high demands in terms of soil fertility. Soil analyses will be essential to determine the soil fertility and to set up a fertilizer plan. The main recommendations for fertilizing lucerne are given in the table below.
|Lime (CaCO3)||Apply lime for minimum pH of 5.5 on sandy soils and 6.0 on clay soils.|
|Nitrogen||No N fertilizer required, under good soil conditions the Rhizobia will supply N.
* 25 kg N/ha at sowing will improve establishment.
|Phosphorus||Depending on yield level when soil P is sufficient:
* 80 - 110 kg P2O5/ha on sandy and river clay soils.
* 50 - 80 kg P2O5/ha on sea clay and sea sandy soils.
|Potassium||Depending on yield level when soil K is sufficient:
* 180 - 220 kg K2O/ha on sandy soil.
* 150 - 190 kg K2O/ha on clay soil.
|Magnesium||50 kg MgO/ha only on sandy soil.|
3. Control of weeds and pests
Chemical weed control
* Can only be applied if this chemical is registered in your country.
4. Harvesting and yield
- 5 cm before flowering or when the first flowers are not fully out.
5. Nutritional aspects
Well silaged lucerne is very palatable to cattle and provides excellent rumen stimulation. The stems stimulate the rumen, improving digestion. The saliva produced by animals during rumination results in stabilisation of the rumen pH. The main advantage of lucerne is the fast digestion of the crop. The rumen remains full of feed without the risk of congestion. As a result, lucerne offers a lot of effective fibre in combination with high dry matter intake.
|Lucerne silage||Early cut||Normal cut|
|Crude protein (g/kg dm)||210||172|
|Crude fibre (g/kg dm)||228||303|
|Crude ash (g/kg dm)||139||119|
|Digestibility organic matter (%)||70.5||64.5|
|VEM/Mj Nel/ ME||797/5.8/9.4||719/5.2/8.5|
|Dry matter intake (kg)||14.2||13.3|