As the demand for alfalfa sprouts is increasing, so are the demands of growing alfalfa. And whether you are a big farmer or someone who grows alfalfa on a small scale, it is important to take proper care while growing alfalfa in order to have high-quality yield from your harvest. As we are looking for temperature and growing period for alfalfa,what you may want keep in mind is that temperature variation leads to considerable symptoms in growth and development of alfalfa plants.
Alfalfa is one of the best forage crops available and it is grown worldwide. The plant belongs to Fabaceae family, which is native to Asia, Africa and USA. Alfalfa ( Medicago sativa ) is a short-lived summer annual legume with long tap root. It can grow well in temperate regions where the climate remains warm or hot in summer and mild during winter. In temperate regions, alfalfa can help in moisture conservation as well as helps in grass production during winter months when pasture land is bare.
A crucial aspect of alfalfa’s growth is its growing temperature. Though alfalfa is very cold tolerant when it first emerges, it starts to become more sensitive to frost as it develops two trifoliate leaves. In fact, a single day of 26°F or less is enough to kill alfalfa. Therefore, determining an ideal growing temperature for alfalfa is critical for determining how quickly it will grow.
Seedling alfalfa is sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Its root growth rate will be influenced by soil moisture and wind speed. It also has a shorter growth period than other crops, making it essential to plant the seeds in late fall or early spring. Moreover, this method prevents the risk of freeze damage, which can result in a poor stand. To prevent the possibility of freezing, grow seedlings in the fall and store them in horizontal silos.
The growth temperature of alfalfa varies depending on its stage of growth. Young seedlings are hardy and tolerate temperatures as low as 20 degrees. However, the risk of freezing increases once the plant reaches the third trifoliate leaf stage (mid-April to early May). At this point, it loses its tolerance to cold, so planting in late spring or early summer will reduce the risk of freezing injury.
If you plant alfalfa seeds in spring, you should make sure that the soil is properly drained and moist. The germination temperature of 45oF is adequate for alfalfa seedling establishment. But remember, it’s important to select the fields wisely. Soil moisture is crucial for alfalfa germination. A moist soil will affect weed competition and result in a poor stand.
Alfalfa grows at temperatures that are favorable for its growth. During the winter, the temperature is too high for the plant to produce enough energy. To produce alfalfa in spring, the soil should be 40oF. In contrast, summer alfalfa is not cold-tolerant. Ideally, the temperature should be 45oF and above. This temperature is best for germination and establishment.
Soil moisture is also critical for the germination process of alfalfa. An optimal temperature for germination is 45oF and is a good starting point. It is important to plant seeds in soil that has adequate drainage for a healthy alfalfa plant. A well-drained soil will also help alfalfa grow well in winter. In addition to water, alfalfa grows best in cool soil with adequate drainage.
Alfalfa’s growing temperature is important for several reasons. A small plant can survive temperatures as low as twenty degrees. If the temperature is too high, it will kill it. If the plant is not cold enough, the upper canopy will turn black and brown or even necrotic. A small stand may be harvested when the plant is only 15-20 inches tall. If the climate is too hot, it can cause a stand failure.
The temperature of alfalfa plants varies based on microclimates. During spring, seedlings can tolerate temperatures as low as 20 degrees. In the fall, the risk of freezing increases after alfalfa reaches its third trifoliate leaf stage. Its first cut should be made when the plant is about 15-20 inches tall. If it is too cold, it may be difficult to harvest the crop, and it will be necessary to replant it.
The temperature of seedling alfalfa is important for several reasons. Seedlings are cold tolerant when they are young. At this stage, they can tolerate temperatures as low as 20 degrees. Once they reach the third trifoliate leaf stage, though, the risk of freezing increases significantly. This means the planting temperature should be 45 degrees or slightly lower. A stand failure is expensive and will ruin the crop. So it is important to choose the best field for alfalfa production.
The temperature of alfalfa plants is determined by microclimates. Air temperatures are measured several feet above the soil surface. As a result, the temperature of the forage canopy will vary significantly. These factors will affect the alfalfa growing temperature. Nevertheless, a climate that allows for the proper development of the crop in the winter is essential for the production of profitable alfalfa stands.