Lucerne

Graham.T

New Member
Just curious to know what peoples thoughts are on Spring vs Autumn (August/September) drilling of Lucerne. To date we have only established in the spring, but no rain in May really slowed it down, the flip side is grass weed competition in the Autumn, being organic we don't have the option of a herbicide. Soils are heavy clay.
 
I have come to think that with all reseeds now, the time of year is irrelevant.
Two best reseed takes we have had were last year, one in May and the other June!
Would never of dreamed of trying to seed grass then, historically, but if we have 6 weeks dry to prepare seed beds you can guarantee we will get the rain to get the grass away.
Had more trouble from August reseed and dry septembers.
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
Yes because long time dry period getting on and into September is too late then when rain comes for good establishment before cooler conditions slow growth anyway, thats common sense.

If you're organic a good tool for cleaning before sowing is a couple of false seedbeds and consequent working out of weed despite being untrendy, it will do a good job with patience.
on the otherhand it will depend on how or for what purpose the Lucerne is for with regards to 'extra' unintentional grass in with it , as a bit of rouge rg or a bit of meadow grass wont hurt it at all infact will enhance things for some uses, wouldnt want cooch or flippin common bent mind you.

but yes the 'weather condition timing of rain' etc rules do seem to have gone more out of the window, was always pretty unpredictable generally in the SW mind you anyway
 
Location
Cheshire
You wouldn’t want to drill it as late as August and September in Cheshire. May, June and July for us. If it’s too dry then it’ll come when it rains, it’s not particularly domesticated so extended germination is normal.
 

Boysground

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
I am sure in the depths of my memory I have heard that once Lucerne is fully dormant it can be sprayed with roundup. My crop looks almost totally dead at the moment but has a fine crop of black grass, wheat, cranesbill and other assorted blw. Poppy was a big issue for the 1st cut last year.

My agronomist is on the case but I was wondering if anyone had actually done it? All I can find is from New Zealand or Australia using a paraquat and atrazine mix. Obviously that’s not possible for me.

Will only do it if legal and being sure it won’t kill the crop but it sounds like a possible opportunity.

Bg
 

Graham.T

New Member
We grow it organically but our seed guy kept telling me he had clients that used to spray it with Kerb. Don't know how far back in time he's going.
 

Boysground

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
Crop was planted early September 2020, field choice was mainly for black grass control, it is bad. Never been tested but resistance wouldn’t surprise me. 500 feet up north facing thin chalk.

I was pleased with establishment having never done it before. Kerb in the winter but had a massive poppy population for 1st cut. None in the second 2.

I was just wondering if this could be an opportunity to tidy a weedy field a bit more.

0C082E93-3418-440E-97C9-95A25EF81CF9.jpeg
BC5B3784-668B-48B9-9721-73FDCC88DE2A.jpeg


Bg
 

Bogweevil

Member
Crop was planted early September 2020, field choice was mainly for black grass control, it is bad. Never been tested but resistance wouldn’t surprise me. 500 feet up north facing thin chalk.

I was pleased with establishment having never done it before. Kerb in the winter but had a massive poppy population for 1st cut. None in the second 2.

I was just wondering if this could be an opportunity to tidy a weedy field a bit more.

View attachment 1011388View attachment 1011389

Bg

I don't think there is an approved glyphosate product, Clethom eamu or kerb etc on label I believe.

G
 

sjt01

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North Norfolk
A farm not far from me before I left used to grow a lot of pure Lucerne and as I understand it regularly sprayed it with glyphosate in the winter. The plant is dormant at that time of year.
It is hard enough to kill with glyphosate when you want to, unless there is a lot of leaf. The ratio of root to leaf means it does not take enough down to the roots to do the job. With zero till you need about 2 years to get rid of it.
 
Just curious to know what peoples thoughts are on Spring vs Autumn (August/September) drilling of Lucerne. To date we have only established in the spring, but no rain in May really slowed it down, the flip side is grass weed competition in the Autumn, being organic we don't have the option of a herbicide. Soils are heavy clay.

You have several problems in the situation described;
  • Your heavy clay soils are very unsuited to lucerne which requires good drainage throughout the soil profile. Red Clover would be a better option.
  • Spring sowing is recommended for this plant.
  • Your organic status prevents normal selective herbicide use. Therefore only winter grubbing the top inch or two remains, but this can only be done on mature stands where a strong crown exists on a well developed tap root.
I suggest you go in with a direct drill with 2 clovers and the ryegrass recommended for your district and the length of life you desire. Do it once the soil moisture level guarantees a good seed strike. Check for slug numbers first.
 

Make Tax Digital Software Poll

  • Quickbooks

    Votes: 27 18.2%
  • Sage

    Votes: 13 8.8%
  • Xero

    Votes: 64 43.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 44 29.7%

Five nature-recovery projects spanning 100,000ha launched

  • 82
  • 1
Written by Michelle Martin from Agriland

Image-source-Savills-field-640x360.jpg
Five nature-recovery projects spanning nearly 100,000ha across the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, the Peak District, Norfolk and Somerset have been announced by the government and Natural England today (Thursday, May 26).

This is the equivalent in size to all 219 current National Reserves.

The aim of the projects is to deliver nature recovery at a landscape scale, helping to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and improve public health and well-being.

All five projects will make a significant contribution towards the national delivery of the international commitment to protect at least 30% of land and...
Top