Five dormant S&W Seed Co. alfalfa varieties will likely be planted in hay trials in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) this summer, according to S&W Seed.

The trials are part of S&W’s “continuing effort to expand the worldwide markets for its proprietary alfalfa seed varieties,” a company press release reads.

They will be conducted, subject to necessary regulatory approvals, at four sites in the country using varieties recently acquired and internally developed by S&W. Forage quality, yield and persistence will be analyzed.

Traditionally known for its non-dormant alfalfas produced in warmer climates, the company has been seeking “to create a presence in the dormant alfalfa seed marketplace. The majority of alfalfa hay in the PRC is grown in the northern regions of the country, where dormant varieties (dormancy ranges of 0 through 4) are most suitable,” according to the company.

The varieties to be tested are Trophy, SW4328, Rhino, M777 and Runner.

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“We see big opportunities for our dormant varieties in the People’s Republic of China,” says Mark Grewal, S&W Seed president and CEO. China has recently been importing alfalfa hay to feed its livestock because the country has insufficient domestic supplies, grows low-quality alfalfa and lacks forage alternatives, he adds.

“If our initial alfalfa hay trials validate quality, yield and persistence goals for our varieties in the PRC, we will be well-positioned to participate in a large and growing market,” Grewal explains.

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