Alfalfa is commonly referred to as “Queen of the Forages” and is the fourth most widely grown crop in the US. Alfalfa is preferred by many farmers because it is comparatively easy to grow and thrives in a variety of climates and soil types. It is also a valuable component of successful sustainable agricultural programs around the world.
A sample of alfalfa’s many benefits include:
Alfalfa is a deep-rooted crop (often up to twelve inches below the surface) and, as it grows, forms a dense canopy covering the soil. These traits help hold the valuable topsoil intact and prevent it from being carried away by water erosion and wind, thereby reducing runoff. Its natural canopy also helps to suppress the growth of a variety of weeds.
Bacteria growing on the roots of alfalfa biologically balance the nitrogen content in soil without the application of supplemental fertilizers. Additionally, because alfalfa plants remain in the ground for several years—unlike most other crops, which are plowed under after a single harvest and year—nitrogen also remains in the soil year after year and further reduces the need for fertilizers during future crop-cycles.
Attract “Good Bugs”
“Good bugs” are those whose diet primarily consists of detrimental pests that can devastate gardens and fields. Alfalfa is proven to attract a diversity of these helpful insects which help to control bugs and pests that can spread diseases and ravage entire crops. Additionally, this minimizes or eliminates the need for the introduction of pesticides.
Efficient Water Use
Though alfalfa traditionally uses more irrigation water than other crops due to its long growing season and deep root system, it produces a surprisingly high yield of dry matter in proportion to the amount of water required. Deep roots make possible its efficient water usage and storage, particularly beneficial during dry or drought periods.
Forage Complete recognizes that alfalfa’s unique benefits are maximized when it is grown organically, without artificial chemicals or fertilizers to affect its natural qualities. Forage Complete is committed to supplying the market’s finest organic alfalfa seed—whether for seed grazing or hay production—as well as corn, timothy and various specialized cover crops and forage seeds. Each of these is non-GMO, 100% organic and undergoes continuous and rigorous testing and verifications to ensure a healthy and plentiful yield.