Alfalfa Fertilizer Recommendation
Alfalfa gets adequate nitrogen supply from its symbiotic relationship with nitrogen fixing Rhizobium bacteria. The average hectare of alfalfa will fix about 1100 lbs. (500 kg) of nitrogen per year. Consequently, there is no need to apply nitrogen fertilizers in most cases. However, alfalfa plants usually suffer from phosphorus deficiencies. The most common symptom of phosphorus deficiency is underdeveloped roots and leaves that turn blue green. Many farmers add phosphorus to the field during sowing, while others prefer to add 350 lbs. (160 kg) of P2O5 per hectare once a year, most often during January-February. Many farmers also add manure to the soil just before sowing and then every 2-3 cuts, especially during the 3rd and the 4th year of cultivation. Again, these are just some common patterns and should not be followed without making your own research. Every field is different and has different needs. It is beneficial to test your soil at least once a year, and take corrective actions after consulting an expert. If your soil test reveals a micronutrient deficiency (for instance Boron), then a foliar fertilizer may give quick results.
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4. Alfalfa Fertilization
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