• Fall Seeding: Will it Work in Interior Alaska?

      Masiak, Darleen; Sparrow, Stephen (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1990-12)
      Short growing seasons in interior Alaska, averaging 90 days in Fairbanks, are a major factor affecting crop production. In the past, volunteer germination of seed from previous years crops has been observed in the field. These volunteer plants tend to get a head start on spring seeded plants, indicating that the use of fall planting could have potential advantages. Spring planting is often delayed due to soil wetness following snow-melt. This problem could be avoided with fall seeding. Seedbed preparation causes rapid drying of the surface of silt loam soils, which are common in interior Alaska. This, combined with low rainfall during spring, often results in moisture levels which are too low for good germination and early growth of shallow planted seeds. Since the soil would not be disturbed in the spring, seeding in fall might allow crops to take advantage of moisture available from snow-melt. Also, fall seeding has the potential of reducing the workload during the short spring planting period.