>I have to decide by tomorrow morning whether to plant red clover or
>alfalfa as a soil building crop on a field which we hope to farm in
>about 2 years. The reasons for why this is such a rush are too stupid
>and irrelevant to mention. It's one or the other.
>I don't know a thing about either one, except I am told they are both
>perennial. Red clover seeding rate recommended at 8-12 pounds per acre,
>and alfalfa at 15-20 pounds per acre. The same innoculant is
>recommended for both.
>Pros? Cons? Comments?
Your seeding rates look good. I've seen some folks take alfalfa up to 25 l/a.
Alfalfa hates acidic soil, ditto wet. Is the field one of those marly NJ
soils? Also, seedlings don't like weed competition. Consider that the
abundance of N in an alfalfa field can knock down grain crops in the
subsequent year after plowdown. So if folks want to grow, say, wheat in the
post-plowdown year, you might think about that. It's a perennial; once
established, it can be persistent and feisty.
I'd lean toward red clover; I've heard of seeding rates of up to 14 or 15
lbs. It'll tolerate acid or clay soils better and is easier to establish
than alfalfa. Also more tolerant of shade (from any weeds). If I'm not
mistaken, this is a biennial crop.
>I am in central New Jersey, and I'll be flipping
>a coin at the feed supply place tomorrow if I don't hear some better
>reason to choose one over the other.
Then there's that. :^)
Looking fwd to hearing others' thoughts. I have a bias against alfalfa,
thanks to those danged graziers I hung around with all those years. :^D
(pleased to be writing such stuff in the canyons of the Financial District
here, where I dream of plowing down the whole damn dot-com-ravaged shebang
and planting--anything...anything atall :^>
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