Planting Tips to Make Every Alfalfa Seed Count

Many years ago I received a box of parent seed corn stamped, “FRAGILE. HANDLE WITH CARE. THESE ARE OUR BABIES.”

This statement certainly reaffirms the fact that seed is biologically alive and fragile. It also reminds me of the many factors that can affect seed quality, starting from the moment that seed is harvested, conditioned, bagged, shipped –– until the seed gets planted in the soil.

379-Alfalfa-smallThe tiny nature of the alfalfa seed also adds another challenge when it comes to placing seed in the soil.  Even though the soil is its home, sometimes the environment is not welcoming. Planting too deep, extended cold and damp conditions, excessive rain, fertilizer or herbicide injury, drought and disease are a few challenges that seedlings face.

Thankfully, science has advanced enough to allow us to develop a seed treatment package to protect your tiny seed from such challenges. AlfaShieldTM is a combination of critical elements that promote rapid emergence, which helps plant achieve photosynthesis quicker. This gives seedlings a better chance to thrive, rather than merely survive.

Seed is an important investment, so we want you to have confidence knowing that we equip your seed with the best seed treatments available. Quick tips to make every seed count on your farm:

  1. Calibrate the seeder. Research finds that careful calibration of each seed lot helps achieve desired results.
  2. Sew enough seed. Pure live seed (PLS), which is like the active ingredient, can be found on the seed bag. This number takes into account the germination percent and seed treatment bulk. Do the math to ensure you have enough live seed to yield 55 to 65 LIVE seedlings per square foot.
  3. Prepare a proper seed bed. A consistent and firm seed bed helps achieve uniform seed placement. Check to make sure seed isn’t being planted too deep; a planting depth of ¼ to ½ inch is recommended for alfalfa seed.

For more tips on creating a successful seed stand, follow us on Facebook and check out our seasonal blog posts on Also click on the related blog posts before: