Lucerne is also know as alfalfa, belonging to the legume family.


Lucerne is tolerant of winter temperatures and has been grown successfully in all arable cropping regions but only on the correct type of soils. It is a deep rooting crop which can tolerate dry matter production when rainfall is low. In the UK, Lucerne is made into silage for milk production. It is also made into hay for horses when the weather conditions are correct.

Lucerne should be sowed either in spring or summer, this is when the soil temperatures have warmed up. Late autumn is risky as the seedlings are slow growing do not have time to develop before the winter. For summer sowings, sowing should happen after an early harvested cereal such as winter barley.