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Lucerne

Climatic Requirements | Season | Soil |Variety

 

Lucerne or alfalfa is one of the most important fodder crop of India. It is generally grown in areas where water supply is inadequate for berseem. Being a deep rooted crop lucerne extracts water from the deeper zone of the soil. It can be grown as rainfed or unirrigated crop in areas with high water table level. It can be grown both as annual as well as perennial crop. This crop may supply green fodder continuously for 3-4 years. It contains about 15-20% crude protein with 72% digestibility, 1.5% calcium, 0.2% phosphorus (on dry weight basis) and high amount of vitamin A, B and D. Since lucerne is a rich feed, it should be used only in small quantities when fed to animals.

 

  Climatic Requirements

 

Lucerne is well adapted to wide climatic variations. Although it is native of temperate regions of south-west Asia, it is grown successfully in most of the tropical countries. It thrives best under warm, dry and sunny conditions.

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  Season

 

Lucerne is a warm season crop.

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  Soil

 

Lucerne can be grown on a wide range of soils, from sandy loam to clay. It does best on well drained loam soil. It does not thrive well on very heavy and waterlogged soils. It can not thrive on alkaline soils but can be grown on acidic soils with liberal application of lime.

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  Variety

 
There are only few good verieties of lucerne which could be grown successfully in most parts of the lucerne growing tracts. These are Sirsa No-8k, Sirsa No-9,Co-1, Moopa, Ramber, Anand-2, NDRI Selection No-1, IGFRI-S-244 and IGFRI-S-54. Selection of varieties mainly depends on the following factors:
  • Method Of Sowing
  • Crop Rotation
  • Pest and Disease
  • Irrigration Facilities
  • Climatic Conditions
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