Smith County farmer grows alfalfa

Kirsten Glavin
Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 6:41pm

Alfalfa is known for it's high nutrient content.. and livestock love it. Texans pay good money to have the plant imported. But thanks to one man's breakthrough... that may change.

Vincent Haby is a former Texas Agri-Life Research Soil Scientist.

He's one of the first to grow the legume in East Texas.

"We actually started growing the alfalfa by planting it into the bermuda grass, and we saw how well it did in that deep sandy soil, which didn't have much aluminum in it in the subsoil. And from there we did studies on phosphorus, soil types, and boron needs, and lime requirement. Everything we thought we thought we needed to study to get alfalfa to be successful (...) This is the first year, we call it the seedling year for this alfalfa, its an americas alfalfa variety, a 455 TQ round up ready alfalfa," said Haby.

The secret to growing it, he says, is buried in the soil.

"And found that all the pastures and hay land on this ranch had a pH of 5.5 at least down to 4 feet so we knew that alfalfa could grow here."

Chad Gulley says this will have a great economic impact, and is a wonderful opportunity for local ranchers.

"This is a great breakthrough, as far as the potential for us to grow alfalfa in east texas," Gulley said.  

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