Field preparation for lucerne

Lucerne

Field preparation

Apart from choosing lucerne seed with Yellow Jacket Nitrogenerator, the right field preparation will contribute to high forage yields. This management manual provides you with the necessary information to get the most out of your Yellow Jacket Nitrogenerator lucerne seed.

Field preparation

Fertilization and liming should be done before seedbed preparation. Apply fertilizer and lime according to soil analyses and preceding crops. Find out more about fertilization.

Lucerne is grateful for soils with good soil structure. Compressed soils need to be loosened first. After that, seedbed preparation can start. For a perfect seedbed, the top soil should be flat and fine. Lucerne seeds are small. Therefor soil preparations should be similar to those for sugar beets.

Soil type and field selection

Fields selected for growing lucerne should meet the following requirements:

  • possibility of deep rooting; no disturbance in the subsoil
  • well drained
  • pH-KCl on sandy soils: minimum 5,5
  • pH-KCl on clay soils: minimum 6,0
  • no lucerne grown on the field in the last 4 years
  • low weed pressure

Soil quality is the cornerstone of a successful lucerne production. Especially on organic, wet soils it can be hard to grow lucerne. Therefore, fields selection should be done carefully before planting.

Lucerne performs better after cereal or maize crops than after grasses. The reason for that is the high nitrogen release from an old grass sward inhibits Rhizobial activity. After sugar beets, potatoes and oil-seed rape, attention should be paid to an increased risk of stem rot disease (Sclerotonia) or nematodes.

European climate zones

Europe climate map zones

Depending on the climate zones, Barenbrug offers various Lucerne products. Every product has its own features suitable for different conditions.

More information