A website from UGA Cooperative Extension

News, events, and happenings in Colquitt County agriculture.

Interseeding alfalfa into bermudagrass is an interesting concept for forage growers in the south.  There are several reasons why forage growers need to consider this production system.

Why Interseed Alfalfa into Bermudagrass?

1. Grow your own nitrogen for the bermudagrass.

2. Increase the quality of your forage (+ 30 or more RFQ points)

3. Makes excellent supplemental feed and/or cash hay crop

4. Growing with bermudagrass allows alfalfa to dry faster and be harvested clean

5. If all else fails, you still have bermudagrass.


A demonstration consisting of interseeding alfalfa into bermudagrass was planted in order to evaluate this production system in Colquitt County.  Bulldog 805 was planted at the seeding rate of 25 pounds per acre on November 20, 2014.  This project could not be possible without the help of Michael Chafin and the Sunbelt Ag Expo staff.


This site was soil tested and P, K and lime was applied according to UGA soil test recommendations.

If you are interesting in this concept below are some tips to help insure a good stand of alfalfa.

Select a well-drained site for planting and soil test the site.  Growers need to lime and fertilize according to the soil test recommendations.

Ideal soil test levels: pH 6.5, High P, and High K. pH at 1 ft depth should be greater than 5.5. Pay attention to micronutrient fertilization needs (B and Mo, as needed).

The planting dates for this production system:

Mountains and Piedmont area, Sept.15th – Oct. 15th.

Coastal Plains region Oct.15th- Nov.15th.

The bermudagrass needs to be very short (1-2 in.) if this production system is attempted.


It may be necessary to apply a non selective herbicide to help with establishment.  It is also ok to burn off with fire after the chemical burn down in order to insure good seed to soil contact.

Plant with a no-till drill at the seed rate of 22-25 lbs/ac in 7-9 in. rows.  Please watch your planting depth and plant no deeper than ½ in.  Producers need to watch the stand after emergence for mole crickets or other pests. An insecticide might be in order if this happens.  If it is dry then an irrigation might be in order to ensure good and even emergence.

Later in the year, keys to maintain alfalfa in bermudagrass will be discussed.  If you have any questions contact the Colquitt County Extension office.