No-till Forage Seeding: Special Considerations
Many attempts have been made to use no-till establishment techniques to “thicken up” old legume stands, primarily alfalfa. This is not recommended. Research shows that when alfalfa is seeded where it was grown the previous year, yields are lower than when it is seeded where another crop was grown. Recent evidence indicates that a chemical released from the old alfalfa inhibits germination and seedling growth of new alfalfa; this inhibition is referred to as “allelopathy” or “autotoxicity.” In addition, disease organisms build up their populations in older stands, and rotations help to reduce diseases by removing the host plants.