Out of Stock

Organic Honest John Alfalfa

  •  Good bang for your buck; exceptional quality alfalfa with <5% medium red clover
  • A blend of high-yielding, disease-resistant alfalfas with good winter hardiness
  • Well-adapted for haylage or dry hay across the Upper Midwest
  • Some lots may contain up to 5% red clover (clearly listed on the tag)
  • Available with OMRI-approved Inoculant


SKU: 3113 Categories: ,

Browse our lineup of high quality, top yielding, and persistent organic alfalfa varieties available from Blue River organic and Albert Lea Seed. When selecting an alfalfa variety, it’s important to consider how long the field will be in production, how many cuttings a year you plan to take, the end use for the forage (quality needs), and the unique challenges for the field location (disease/insects).

For practical knowledge and friendly advice on which alfalfa varieties to select for your farm, reach out to your local Blue River organic dealer or give us a call 800.370.7979.

Organic Honest John Alfalfa
Performance Table
VarietyW.S.IFD# of CuttingsTraffic TolerancePoorly-Drained SoilsD.R.IAphanomyces Race 1Aphanomyces Race 2Phyto. Root RotVertic. Root RotBacterial WiltFusarium WiltAnthracnoseStem NematodePea Aphid Tol
Organic Honest John Alfalfa2.53.53-43529/30HRSHRHRRHRHRIDID
Organic Blue River 444LH Alfalfa1.83.93-44430/30HRMRHRHRHRHRHRMRID
Organic Blue River 320LH/AP Alfalfa1.93.23-43534/35HRRHRHRHRHRHRMRHR
Organic Blue River Bluebird LH/AP Alfalfa253-54535/35HRHRHRHRHRHRHRMRR
Organic Blue River 520AP Alfalfa254-54434/35HRHRHRRHRHRHRRHR
Organic Blue River 372HD Alfalfa2.03.64-53430/30HRSHRHRHRHRHRRR
Organic Blue River 3800 Alfalfa2.14.03-54429/30RSHRHRHRHRHRIDHR
Organic Blue River 340M Brand Alfalfa2.03.03-43327/30RSRHRHRHRRIDR
Organic Blue River Swift Alfalfa2.04.03-44431/35RMRHRHRHRRHRHRHR
Organic Blue River Road Runner Alfalfa2.04.03-43432/35HRMRHRRHRHRHRHRID
Organic Blue River Finch Alfalfa1.94.74-64435/35HRHRHRHRHRHRHRRID
Organic Matrix Creeping Alfalfa2.02.52-35325/30RSRMRHRRHRIDR
Organic Hardy Brand Alfalfa2.22.01-23211/30SSSSMRRSIDID




  • Hay
  • Silage
  • Pasture
  • Cover Crop


  • Superior yield and protein to other forage.
  • Good re-growth after cutting or grazing.
  • Breeding for improved winterhardiness, yield and disease resistance.
  • Well adapted to drought-prone soils
  • Excellent biomass accumulation & N fixation


  • Potential to cause bloat when grazed
  • Not well-suited to wet soils


Plant Information

Good to excellent depending on variety and fertilization (Potash is essential for increasing winterhardiness and stand survival)

Excellent (for established stands)

Wet soil tolerance:
Select varieties with Phytophthora & Aphanomyces resistance

Average Nitrogen Fixation:
100 – 150 lbs N /acre

Forage Yield Range:
3 – 8 DM ton / A (average 2- to 4-cut system)

Relative Forage Quality:
147 – 186 (index value)

Seed and Seeding Info

Seeds per lb:
200,000 to 220,000

Seeding Rate Alone:
15-20 lbs /acre

Seeding Rate in Mixtures:
15 lbs / acre when mixed with grass

Range of Seeding Dates:
Spring or late summer (April – Mid-May and Aug. 5 – 25th in Southern MN)

Methods of seeding:
Broadcast and drag – Drill ; Rolling or cultipacking helps. Often seeded with a small grain cover crop when planted in the spring. Later summer seedings should be direct seeded to minimize competition.

Best seeding depth:
½ to ¾ Inch

Best Soil types:
Well-drained light soils (loam to sandy loam in texture)

pH tolerances:
6.5 to 7.0

ORGANIC FARMING: Questions, Answers, Resources

Organic agriculture has been one of the fastest growing segments of the agriculture industry for a number of years. The purpose of this brochure is to provide basic answers to questions you may have about organic farming practices and to provide resources where you can find additional information. Most of this information was obtained from the Minnesota Guide to Organic Certification by the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA), but it also applies to organic agriculture in other states.

What is organic agriculture?
The USDA – National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic agriculture as “a production system that is managed to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.” The Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture says, organic agriculture “generally refers to a farm production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity to promote healthy crops without the use of synthetic chemicals (meaning synthetic pesticides – herbicides, insecticides, etc. – and synthetic fertilizers).” In short, organic agriculture is a system of farm and processing practices, not simply the resulting plant and animal products.

Why change to organic agriculture?
Organic production is not for everyone, but there are many reasons to consider changing to organic production. They include: premium prices for organic products, improved soil and water quality associated with diversified cropping systems, reduced use of synthetic chemical inputs, reduced handling of potentially hazardous agricultural chemicals, and potential increased profits through reduced use of off-farm (purchased) inputs.

What do you have to do to become organic?
Producers and processors who sell over $5,000 per year of organic products must be certified by an accredited certification agency in order to sell their products as “organic.” Certification is a process of review and approval of a production system by an organic certification agency, after which a producer is able to call his or her product “organic” or “certified organic.” There is a transitional period of three years during which no forbidden chemicals or fertilizers can be applied. Genetically modified organisms are also prohibited along with numerous other products. A certification agency can provide a complete list of prohibited materials.

How do you find a certification agency?
Producers and handlers may contract with any USDA-accredited certifier, no matter where its office is located.

Cost of certification varies between agencies and with the size of your operation so be sure to shop around to find the best certifier for your circumstances.

Where can I find more help or support?
A good place to start is your local county extension office. They should be able to answer many of your questions or point you toward someone who can. Additionally, listed below are several government agencies, universities, and private groups and that have websites where you can find current information.

University Information Websites:
Iowa State University – Organic Agriculture Program:
ISU operates an Organic Agriculture Program to provide research information and extension presentations for Iowa citizens. Field Days, workshops and classes on organics are held throughout the year.

Dr. Kathleen Delate, Associate Professor
Dept. of Horticulture & Agronomy
106 Horticulture Hall
Ames, Iowa 50011-1100
Telephone: (515) 294-7069
Fax: (515) 294-0730
Email: kdelate@iastate.edu

University of Minnesota – Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA):

411 Borlaug Hall
1991 Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108-1013
Telephone: (800) 909- 6472
Fax: (612) 625-1268
Email: misamail@umn.ed

U of MN Southwest Research and Outreach Center (SWROC):

23669 130th Street
Lamberton, MN 56152
Telephone: (507) 752-7372
Fax:(507) 752-5097 FAX

Michigan State University Organic Farm Exchange:


State and Federal Government Information Websites:

USDA National Organic Program (NOP)

USDA Organic Production

USDA Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC)

Iowa Department of Agriculture

Organic Farming Resources for Wisconsin

North Dakota Organic Farming

Certifying Agencies (inclusion on this list does not imply an endorsement by Albert Lea Seed):

Minnesota Crop Improvement Association

Midwest Organic Services Association, Inc. (MOSA)

Organic Crop Improvement Association – MN Chapter (OCIA) www.mnocia.org

Other Useful Information:

University of Minnesota – Organic Ecology

Minnesota Organic Network

The Minnesota Organic Farmers’ Information Exchange (MOFIE) https://mofie.cfans.umn.edu/

Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) https://www.mosesorganic.org/

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA) https://attra.ncat.org/

Organic Trade Association (OTA)

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

The Rodale Institute

How To Go Organic

The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)


Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society

Practical Farmers of Iowa