Did you know an alfalfa crop releases up to 200 kg nitrogen?
Alfalfa has many qualities. Not only is it drought tolerant, but alfalfa is one of the most sustainable and economically viable crops.
10 tons dry matter is left after alfalfa in the roots and crown and it releases 200 kg N/ha at a slower rate than other legumes.
200 kg N/ha is released as follows:
- 65% is freed for the crops the following two years
- 15% in the 3rd & 4th years
- The remaining 20% over the following years.
The benefit of the stored nitrogen and the savings from it are long-lasting because much of the nitrogen remains in the ground. When you plant subsequent crops, you do not have to add AS much nitrogen fertilizer as without alfalfa.
Also the high dry matter and protein yield of alfalfa is well-known and appreciated, but how much an alfalfa crop actually leave behind when switching to the following crop might surprise you.
A total of 10 ton dry matter per ha are stored as follows:
- 3 tons in the crown
- 5 tons in the deep going tap roots (first 20 cm of the soil)
- 1,5 tons in the soil between 20 and 100 cm