Farm Advisor, San Joaquin County
The drain end of most alfalfa fields is first to lose plants and giveway to weed infestation. Once the alfalfa population is reduced, even the best of herbicide programs cannot stop weed invasions which progressively move into the field. Planting a perennial red clover in these areas hashelped the problem. The clover is much more tolerant to standing water and to soils that stay wetter longer. It provides good growth and yield and nutritionally rivals alfalfa. But most importantly, once established there are few weeds that will over take it. Planting the clover into these areas in the fall or early spring months using a grain drill has produced acceptable stands. Ten to fifteen pound seeding rate has worked well. Caution: avoid using a soil sterilent herbicide in the replant areas (Velpar, Karmex) before or after planting. They will inhibit germination of the clover.
November 5, 1999