Alfalfa is a versatile crop, utilized in Kansas for pasture, hay, silage, greenchop, green manure, and as a cash crop of both hay and seed. As a cash crop, alfalfa has provided a more consistent return on investment than any of our major grain crops.
AgVantage Brand Alfalfa
AgVantage Product Blend - an economical blend of several different alfalfas ideally suited for the Kansas farmer
Legacy Brand Alfalfa
Or try our local product
VNS Alfalfa (variety not stated) locally harvested alfalfa, suited for the growing conditions of Kansas.
Alfalfa is grown over a wide range of soil and climatic conditions and has an important role in crop rotation through its positive effects on soil fertility, soil structure, and erosion control. It is a versatile crop, utilized in Kansas for pasture, hay, silage, greenchop, green manure, and as a cash crop of both hay and seed. As a cash crop, alfalfa has provided a more consistent return on investment than any of our major grain crops.
Choose the best soil possible to produce alfalfa. Deep, well-drained loam or clay loam soils are best. These soils possess the necessary characteristics for top production, that is, good water holding capacity and adequate infiltration rates. Alfalfa may be produced on less than ideal soils, but forage yield will suffer. Heavy clay soils are slowly permeable and tend to waterlog. Shallow soils reduce the root zone and water holding capacity. Soils with a high sand content do not possess the water holding capacity to maintain stands in periods of dry weather without supplemental irrigation.
The producer must plan ahead to successfully produce alfalfa. Soil pH should be near neutral and potassium and phosphate levels in the soil should be in the high range. In Kansas, a late summer (August-September) planting date is generally considered best. Later fall plantings may be attempted but run the risk of being killed by cold weather before seedlings become firmly established. Spring plantings of alfalfa are often successful, however, they entail a greater risk of being killed by cold weather before seedlings become firmly established. Early spring plantings run the risk of a late freeze, while late spring plantings may not allow the alfalfa plants enough time to establish an adequate root system prior to the onset of hot/dry weather. If spring planting is contemplated, usually mid-March thru mid-April planting dates are best.
Preparation of the seedbed is one of the most important factors in the successful establishment of alfalfa. The surface of the seedbed should be fine (free of clods) and firm. Below the surface, soil needs to be loose enough to allow seedling roots easy penetration. The surface must not be powdery, if conditions force the field to be worked more than what would be ideal, it is best to wait for a rain to settle and firm the surface.
Moisture at the surface of the seedbed is beneficial but not essential. In fact, successful alfalfa plantings are often made when the surface of the soil is dry. It is helpful when there is good moisture one to three inches below the surface.
Alfalfa must be planted shallow. Planting depths of ¼ to ½ inch are best. Generally, 12 to 16 pounds of seed per acre is required to insure good stands. Six to 8 pounds of seed per acre would be sufficient if all factors were ideal, but this is Kansas. Generally, higher seeding rates are needed in the eastern part of the state than in the western part.
AgVantage Product Blend
AgVantage brand alfalfa is a blend of premium hay type varieties with a fall dormancy rating of 4.0. It is well adapted to all of Kansas, and producers may plant AgVantage brand alfalfa on most soil types (as long as it is reasonably well drained). AgVantage provides excellent hay yields and will tolerate frequent cutting to maximize hay quality.
DeLange Seed guarantees that AgVantage brand alfalfa will have good levels of resistance to the major alfalfa diseases: Bacterial Wilt, Verticillium Wilt, Fusarium Wilt, Anthracnose, Phytophthora Root Rot and Aphanomyces Root Rot. This product offers a compromise to producers who want a premium multiple pest resistant alfalfa variety but desire a more economical price.
VNS Alfalfa (variety not stated) is locally harvested alfalfa, suited for the growing conditions of Kansas. Seed is cleaned and tagged 85% pure, with a 90% germination. VNS alfala seed is not pre-inoculated. Alfalfa appropriate inoculant is available for sale.
In the past, there was a distinct strain of Kansas Common Alfalfa. Today, there is no such "common" strain. It has been replaced by VNS alfalfa. As alfalfa varieties have been improved over the years, more and more farmers planted varieties as opposed to local strains. Most alfalfa varieties have been accorded the protection of PVPA (Plant Variety Protection Act) which prohibits the seed increase and resale of these materials by variety name without the permission of the breeder or owner of the genetics. Therefore, whenever alfalfa seed is harvested in Kansas, it is brought in to a conditioning plant without any variety designation. So VNS alfalfa may be a blend of common strains, older varieties and newer varieties. Some lots may be superior in performance while another lot may be average or below average.
DeLange Seed makes every attempt to determine the origin and history of each lot of VNS alfalfa seed we offer for sale. When purchasing VNS alfalfa, producers should look first to the origin of the seed. Alfalfa seed grown in Kansas or the immediately surrounding states will most likely perform better than seed produced in northern regions of the United States or Canada. This is due to the fall dormancy of the northern cultivars. In the more northern regions, alfalfa varieties generally have a fall dormancy rating of 2 or lower, while in Kansas generally the varieties planted are rated a 4 dormancy. A fall dormancy of 2 means that the alfalfa will green up later in the spring and quit sooner in the fall. This greater dormancy generally results in lower total production.