Forage seeding rates

Forage seeding rate charts when seeded alone or in mixtures

Some farmers prefer fall seeding forage to summer seeding due to easier weed control, particularly for legume-grass mixtures. For example, seeding rate of alfalfa ranges 8 – 15 lb/acre so it would be better off to have higher seeding rate to make better establishment. Following are the forage seeding rates when seeded alone or in mixtures (Table 1), and adaptation characteristics of legumes and grasses (Table 2).

Table 1. Forage Seeding Rates When Seeded Alone or in Mixtures.

Seeding Rate

Species

Seed/lb

Alone   lb/acre

Mixture   lb/acre

Legumes




Alfalfa

200,000

15 – 20

8 – 15

Birdsfoot trefoil

375,000

4 – 8

2 – 6

Red clover

275,000

8 – 10

2 – 6

White clover

700,000

3 – 5

1 – 2





Grasses




Orchardgrass

654,000

8 – 12

4 – 6

Reed canarygrass

533,000

8 – 12

4 – 6

Annual ryegrass

227,000

20 – 30

10 – 15

Perennial ryegrass

227,000

10 – 12

5 – 6

Tall fescue

230,000

12 – 14

6 – 12

Timothy

1,230,000

8 – 10

2 – 8

 

Table 2. Soil pH and Tolerances of Drainage, Flooding, and Drought in Legumes and Grasses.

Species

Optimum Soil pH

Poor drainage

Flooding

Drought

Legumes





Alfalfa

6.5 – 7.0

P

P

E

Birdsfoot trefoil

6.0 – 6.5

E

P

G

Red clover

5.8 – 6.5

G

P

G

White clover

5.8 – 6.5

E

P

P






Grasses





Orchardgrass

5.8 – 6.5

G

P

G

Reed canarygrass

5.8 – 6.5

E

E

E

Annual ryegrass

5.8 – 6.5

P

P

P

Perennial ryegrass

5.8 – 6.5

P

P

P

Tall fescue

5.8 – 6.5

E

E

E

Timothy

5.8 – 6.5

G

P


E: excellent, G: good, and P: poor

Related Articles