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Demonstrating the Extreme: Autotoxicity in Alfalfa

M. Scott Wells, David Nichol, and Roger Becker

Autotoxicity is the chemical inhibition by a plant on the germination or growth of a plant of the same species, and has been suggested as one of the mechanisms for poor alfalfa emergence and growth. Although several factors influence autotoxicity such as soil texture, rainfall, and termination timing, research indicates a break in the production and/or crop rotation is needed avoid potential stand establishment problems.  Typically, autotoxicity in alfalfa is not an issue, given the rotational schemes (e.g. corn following alfalfa). However there are growers that wish to renovate their current alfalfa fields, and commonly ask what are the impacts of doing so. Before we present the UMN Forage Teams recommendations concerning alfalfa autotoxicity, lets take this opportunity to show what happens in the most extreme settings.

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Demonstrating the Extreme: Autotoxicity in Alfalfa


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