Department of Horticulture
So many letters have been received concerning my method of starting alfalfa by setting one year roots instead of by sowing seed, that it appears timely to summarize the experience up to date in this bulletin. The question is often received, "Do you recommend transplanting to the farmer?” My reply is that I cannot recommend the method to anyone until it is fully standardized and perfected. Hundreds of farmers have had excellent results with transplanting in a limited way for seed. Many have grown seed at the rate of one pound of seed from eight or ten plants and in this way have built up a considerable acreage from a small beginning. But for any considerable area, success will depend on having the right machine. In like manner, the wheat industry of the United States may be said to depend in large measure upon the self-hinder, and the hay industry upon the mower. On the uplands of an immense area of the far western states it is becoming a recognized practice to sow alfalfa in cultivated rows. For such regions I believe transplanting will be the coming method as it gives each plant the right distance from the beginning and there is no overcrowding of the plants in the row. Furthermore, many farmers on dry western uplands are learning by their own experience that transplanting insures a stand under conditions when seed fails.
alfalfa, transplanting alfalfa, transporting crops
South Dakota Experiment Station, South Dakota State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts
Hansen, N.E., "Transplanting Alfalfa" (1916). Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletins. 167.