View Full Version : Old alfalfa field...best way to turn it into pasture?

Jul. 24, 2012, 05:02 PM
I just have all kinds of questions. Anyway, there is a 3-4 acre field on my tentative farmette that is currently in old alfalfa. I am in no rush to bring horses home, so what is the easiest way for a non-tractor owner to convert this to a pasture (even if that means hiring a tractor-owner). Also, can you overseed with grass and have a mix? I've read a bit on alfalfa bloat, etc. but please share your thoughts.

What happens to old alfalfa, does it eventually just die out or keep struggling on? I know a field is planted for a few years and then turned into corn, or whatever other crop the farmer wants.


I should add that I will talk to the leasor (someone is renting the field) and maybe they would still be interested in bailing the pasture if it is grass--save me lots of mowing. I'm not sure what they are paying for rent either. It's such a small field.

Jul. 24, 2012, 06:42 PM
You know, I can't recall if alfalfa is a perennial or not, but if it's being managed as a crop generally it'll get disced under at the end of the season, disced a couple more times and then at the big farm I used to visit it would get rotated into wheat or safflower so that's what would be seeded.

If the field is in a lease whoever it is may have some rights - I hope you got a copy of the contract!

Jul. 24, 2012, 08:39 PM
If you are upper midwest then alfalfa will probably die out on its own. Overseed a good grass seed that does well in your area (March or so )

Grazing it will kill it off as well.

Tamara in TN
Jul. 24, 2012, 08:57 PM
alfalfa dies out after about 5 years for most hay types,hay type alfalfa cannot take graze pressure and will be killed out totally in just a few years


Jul. 25, 2012, 11:23 AM
Oh I was hoping you would chime in Tamara!

Do you recommend drilling pasture seed over it or is it something you can just spread next spring? I'm guessing it is in year 3 or 4 years old at least, but I will ask. I've noticed here (it does grow back, btw) they go about three years for hay and then till it under.

Jul. 25, 2012, 11:53 AM
Drilling is a far better way to get grass going.