Alfalfa Water Requirements
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How to irrigate Alfalfa
Although alfalfa is a drought tolerant plant, it needs certain levels of soil moisture in order to give sustainably high yields for 4 years. As a rule of thumb, soil moisture should never be under 50%. During the productive period, farmers irrigate when the soil is dry through artificial rain, center pivots, linears and controlled flooding. Generally, we stop irrigating 3-10 days before harvesting. Alfalfa is a deep rooted plant. Hence, it can survive long periods between irrigation sessions. However, most alfalfa plants will die if we do not irrigate after 45 days of drought during summer. Although no irrigation system can ensure absolute uniformity, we have to keep in mind that excessive water supply in one part of the field will increase disease potential, and cause drainage below the root zone.
There are research findings indicating that alfalfa plants can perform well when irrigated with water of high salinity or poor quality (recycled water from waste tanks) that cannot be used in any other popular crops. However, you have to consult your local agronomist if you intend to irrigate your plants with water from such a source.
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7.) Alfalfa Water Requirements