Tips For Better Manure Application In Alfalfa
If you have manure to spread this summer, sometimes the only place available is an alfalfa field. Be aware, however, that manure can cause problems on alfalfa.
Liquid manure can burn leaves due to salt injury, and dry manure can smother plants if it is applied too heavily or in large chunks. Manure can spread weed seeds, and the nitrogen in manure can stimulate grasses already in the alfalfa to become more competitive. Also, manure application equipment can damage alfalfa crowns and compact soil.
When possible, spread manure on other land, but, if you have no other choice, follow these suggestions:
Apply less than three thousand gallons of liquid manure or ten tons of solid manure per acre to minimize salt burn or smothering. If manure is dry, adjust the spreader to break up large chunks that can smother growth.
Spread manure immediately after removing a cutting to minimize direct contact with foliage.