Growers will find few new conventional alfalfa varieties available for planting next year.

The reason, some industry representatives say, is that companies have been ramping up for Roundup Ready varieties. Others mention that new varieties tend to be released in waves and that this was a low-ebb year.

Regardless, alfalfa seed companies are offering a wealth of conventional varieties, as the following tables exhibit. Arranged by fall dormancy, the varieties provide high yield, quality and pest resistance.

All 232 pure varieties on the following pages are eligible for certification from one of three sources: the National Alfalfa Variety Review Board, a state crop improvement association, or the U.S. Plant Variety Protection Office.

Disease and insect information on the varieties was gathered with the help of the National Alfalfa Alliance, alfalfa breeders and the University of Wisconsin.

For information on Roundup Ready varieties — available now and coming down the pike — see the story and table on page 39.

RR Varieties Hit The Market

Alfalfa growers who want to try Roundup Ready (RR) varieties have plenty to choose from, with more on the way.

Forage Genetics International, the company that developed RR alfalfa under a licensing agreement with Monsanto, has in turn licensed varieties to several other companies. In addition, it will market RR varieties under its recently acquired America's Alfalfa brand.

The first RR varieties come in a wide range of fall dormancy types, and have similar pest resistance ratings. They're all new varieties, not existing ones with the RR trait added, says Mark McCaslin, Forage Genetics president.

“They're competitive with the best conventional varieties on the market in terms of yield, quality, persistence and pest resistance,” says McCaslin. “So they're as good as or better than the latest varieties for all those traits, plus they've got the Roundup Ready gene.”

Some of the varieties listed here were released commercially shortly after RR alfalfa received regulatory approval in mid-June. Others were, or will be, introduced this fall and winter. Two — Alfalfagraze 300 RR and Ameristand 405T RR — are set for spring 2006 release. McCaslin says a few more spring 2006 commercial releases will be announced this winter.

While all these varieties were bred by Forage Genetics, the company is working with other breeding companies to facilitate development of their own RR varieties.

“We've been working with other breeders with the desire of getting the trait into as broad a germplasm as possible,” he says. “Some of these projects were initiated a couple of years ago.”

Roundup Ready Varieties
FD Variety Name Marketer
3.0 Alfagraze 300 RR America's Alfalfa
3.0 DKA34-17RR Dekalb
3.5 Ameristand 405T RR America's Alfalfa
4.0 425RR Allied/Southern States
4.0 4G418 Mycogen
4.0 6443RR Garst Seed
4.0 Consistency 4.10RR Croplan
4.0 DKA41-18RR Dekalb
4.0 GH709RR Golden Harvest
4.0 Liberator NK/Syngenta
4.0 RRalf 4R100 Trelay/Eureka
4.0 V-45RR Dairyland
4.0 WL355RR W-L Research
6.0 RRalf 6R100 Eureka
7.5 Ameristand 813T RR America's Alfalfa
8.0 DKA84-10RR Dekalb
8.0 Revolution NK/Syngenta
8.0 WL550RR W-L Research
9.0 WL660RR W-L Research

Marketing Contacts

AgVenture, Inc. — www.agventure.com
Allied Seed — www.alliedseed.com
America's Alfalfa — 800-873-2532
Ampac Seed Co. — www.ampacseed.com
Arrow Seed Co., Inc. — 800-622-4727
Barenbrug USA — 800-547-4101
Cascade Hybrids — 509-839-3443
Cimarron USA — www.cimarronusa.com
Croplan Genetics — www.croplangenetics.com
Dairyland Seed Co. — 800-236-0163
Deer Creek Seed — 877-247-3736
Doebler's — 800-853-2676 or www.doeblers.com
Elk Mound Seed — 800-401-7333
Eureka Seed — 530-661-6995
Farm Science Genetics — www.farmsciencegenetics.com
Farm Valley Brand — 800-323-0725
Fielder's Choice Direct — 800-321-3177
Fontanelle Hybrids — www.fontanelle.com
FS Seeds-East — 800-245-2435
Garst Seed Co. — 888-464-2778
Golden Harvest Seeds — www.goldenharvestseeds.com
Grassland Central — 877-560-5181
J.R. Simplot Co. — 208-336-2110
Jung Seed Genetics — 800-242-1855
Kaltenberg Seeds — 800-383-3276
LG Seeds — 800-752-6847
L & H Seeds — 800-995-0234
Lohse Mill — 916-934-2157
Monsanto — www.monsanto.com
Mycogen — 800-356-7333
NC+ Hybrids — www.nc-plus.com
NK Brand/Syngenta — www.syngenta.com
Northstar Seed — 800-430-5955
PGI/Producers Choice — 866-744-5710
Pioneer Hi-Bred Int'l — www.pioneer.com
Power Seeds — 866-379-3030
Preferred Seed Co. — 877-417-7333
Proseed Inc. — 800-776-3121
Renk Seed — 800-289-7365
RS Seeds — 661-589-2562
Southern States — 804-281-1000
Tennessee Farmers Cooperative — www.ourcoop.com
Trelay Seed Co. — 800-421-0397
Tri-West — 208-352-1188
Union Seed — 800-635-5701
W-L Research — www.wlresearch.com
Ziller Seed — 800-752-1797