Fields selected for growing lucerne should meet the following requirements:
- possibility of deep rooting; no disturbance in the subsoil
- well drained
- pH-KCl on sandy soils: minimum 5,5
- pH-KCl on clay soils: minimum 6,0
- no lucerne grown on the field in the last 4 years
- low weed pressure
Soil quality is the cornerstone of a successful lucerne production. Especially on organic, wet soils it can be hard to grow lucerne. Therefore, fields selection should be done carefully before planting.
Lucerne performs better after cereal or maize crops than after grasses. The reason for that is the high nitrogen release from an old grass sward inhibits Rhizobial activity. After sugar beets, potatoes and oil-seed rape, attention should be paid to an increased risk of stem rot disease (Sclerotonia) or nematodes.