Lucerne - Field view

  • Lucerne, also termed as `Queen of forages' is a deep rooted perennial forage legume adapted to a wide range of conditions ranging from tropical to alpine. It is very palatable and nutritious forage legume containing 15 - 20% crude protein on dry matter basis. Lucerne adds nitrogen to soil and improves soil fertility. It is grown for green fodder, hay, silage but does not tolerate close grazing.

Season and Varieties:

  • Anand 2 , Sirsa - 9, IGFRI S - 244, and Co 1. The package of practices for the var. Co1 is presented below. Suitable for growing all through the year in places like Coimbatore, Pollachi, Udumalpet and in other places during July - December. Not suitable for very hot and very cold climates.
  • Particulars of Var. Co 1.


  • Green fodder yield t/ha/year 70-80 (In 10 harvests)
  • Seed yield kg/ha 200 -250
  • Protein content (%) 20 - 24
  • Dry matter (%) 18 - 20
  • Plant height (cm) 60 - 80
  • Mean clusters per tiller 12 - 15
  • Mean No. of pods per tiller 22 - 25
  • Mean No. of seeds per pod 4 -6

Preparation of Field (Irrigated Crop):

  • Ploughing
    • Plough twice with an iron plough and three or four times with country plough to obtain good tilth.
  • Application of FYM
    • Apply and spread FYM or compost @ 12.5 t/ha on the unploughed field and incorporate the manure into the soil during ploughing.
  • Forming Beds
    • Form beds of size 10, m2 or 20 m2 depending on the availability of water and slope of land.
  • Application of Fertilizer
    • Apply NPK fertilizers as per soil test recommendations as for as possible. If soil testing is not done, follow the blanket recommendation of 25 : 120 : 40 kg NPK /ha.
    • Apply the full dose NPK of 25 : 120 : 40 basally before sowing.
    • Mark lines to a depth of 5 cm and 25 cm apart. Place the fertilizer mixture at a depth of 5 cm along the lines and cover the lines upto 2 cm from the top before sowing.
    • Application of Biofertilizer mixture viz., Azospirillum, Rhizobium and Phosphobacterium along with 75% recommended dose of N and P enhanced the yield besides saving of 35% of fertilizer in lucerne and Desmanthus.
  • Sowing
    • Good quality seed without the seeds of Cuscuta (a weed) should be used.
    • The seeds are to be treated with Rhizobial culture at 3 packets/ha (600g).
    • Sow the seeds at 20 kg/ha in solid stand in rows of 25 cm apart over the lines where fertilizer are applied at a depth of 2 cm and cover with soil.

  • Water Management Irrigate immediately after sowing, life irrigation on the third day and thereafter once in a week .
  • Weed Management Hand weeding is given as and when necessary.
    • Spray any one of the following insecticide within 5 days after harvest to control aphid infestation.
      • Malathion 50 EC 500 ml/ha
      • Endosulfan 35 EC 500 ml/ha
    • Wherever the parasite Cuscuta is observed uproot the affected plants along with the soil and burn.
    • First harvest 75 - 80 days after sowing. Subsequent harvests are made at intervals of 25 - 30 days.
Last modified: Wednesday, 17 August 2011, 9:03 AM