This year's alfalfas are fit for royalty

The queen of forages isn't resting on her laurels. New alfalfa varieties for 2002 are packed with improvements such as higher leaf-to-stem ratios, improved digestibility and stronger pest resistance packages. Breeders have been emphasizing those traits for years and continue to make gains.

A few new varieties also reflect one of the latest wrinkles in alfalfa breeding: tolerance to wheel traffic.

The new varieties, along with some of their most important traits, are listed here and on the following pages. The information was provided by seed marketers.

Your state university probably has variety trial information to help facilitate your choices. Or, click onto the North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference's Web site (www.naaic.org) and link to its alfalfa variety field trial results under the Information Resources title.

FALL DORMANCY 2

WL 319 HQ, from W-L Research, Madison, WI:

  • Winterhardiness rating of 1.3; fall dormancy rating of 2.8.

  • Very high yields under both 3- and 4-cut systems.

  • Unsurpassed in digestibility and feed value.

  • 30 out of 30 Wisconsin Disease Rating Index (WDRI) score.

  • Excellent medium-maturity companion to WL 327 and WL 342.

  • Dark green, leafy, fine-stemmed.

FALL DORMANCY 2

Paramount II, from Chemgro Seeds, East Petersburg, PA:

  • Winterhardiness, 1.9; fall dormancy, 2.9.

  • High forage quality; fast recovery.

  • Highly resistant to phytophthora root rot (PRR); bacterial, fusarium and verticillium wilts; anthracnose; aphanomyces.

FALL DORMANCY 3

A 30-06 from PGI Alfalfa, Story, IA:

  • Superior winter survival, 1.9.

  • Traffic- and grazing-tolerant.

  • Adapted for poor or well-drained soils.

  • High yields with good quality.

  • Persistent for long-term stands.

  • Superior in appearance.

  • 30/30 WDRI score.

Kow Kandy 3000, from Patriot Seed, Lincoln, NE:

  • Very winterhardy; fast cutting recovery.

  • Carries multileaflet trait.

  • Exhibits excellent leaf-to-stem ratios.

  • Highly resistant to PRR, fusarium and bacterial wilts.

  • Best adapted to areas north of I-80 in NE, IA and IL.

  • Fits well in a 3- or 4-cut system.

Kow Kandy 3500LH, also from Patriot Seed:

  • Very winterhardy; average recovery; semiupright growth; dark green.

  • Good leaf-to-stem ratios.

  • Contains the glandular-haired trait for potato leafhopper protection.

  • Highly resistant to PRR, bacterial and fusarium wilts.

  • Adapted to 3- and 4-cut systems.

Rugged, from Target Seed, Homedale, ID:

  • Highly traffic- and grazing-tolerant.

  • Winter survival, 1.2.

  • Unexcelled persistence with high yields.

  • Large, broad, deep-set crowns.

  • Resistant to leafhopper yellowing.

  • Highly resistant to eight pests.

  • 30/30 WDRI score.

4375LH, from Mycogen Seeds, Indianapolis, IN:

  • Has notable establishment vigor.

  • Winterhardiness, 2.3; fall dormancy, 3.8.

  • Recovers very fast from 3 or 4 cuttings per season.

  • Highly resistant to PRR, aphanomyces, anthracnose, bacterial and fusarium wilts.

  • Contains added resistance to verticillium wilt, pea aphids.

  • Highly resistant to potato leafhoppers.

  • Adaptable to a wide range of drainage conditions.

FALL DORMANCY 4

54H91, from Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Johnston, IA:

  • Highly resistant to leafhoppers.

  • High yielding across a broad range of leafhopper infestations.

  • Highly resistant to PRR, anthracnose, bacterial and fusarium wilts.

  • Resistant to aphanomyces, verticillium wilt.

  • Well-adapted to a broad range of soil types.

  • 28/30 WDRI score.

Traffic, from Kaltenberg Seeds, Waunakee, WI:

  • Tolerant to wheel traffic and heavy grazing.

  • Excellent winter survival rating.

  • Dark green, high-quality forage.

  • Resistant to leafhopper yellowing.

  • Very fast recovery rate after cutting.

  • 30/30 WDRI score.

Abundance, from Ziller Seed Co., Bird Island, MN:

  • High yield potential.

  • Finished first in MN, WI, WA and OK university yield trials.

  • Exceptionally high forage quality.

  • Well-adapted to Northern and Midwestern climates.

  • Resistant to stem and northern root-knot nematodes.

  • 27/30 WDRI score.

AmeriStand 403T, from America's Alfalfa, Lenexa, KS:

  • Features Traffic-Tested genetics.

  • Averaged $50/acre/year more than conventionals in university tests.

  • Best winter survival in its class in three university trials.

  • Highly resistant to all major alfalfa diseases.

  • Averages $20/acre more N credit than conventional varieties.

Baralfa 42IQ, from Barenbrug Seed, Tangent, OR:

  • High yields, especially in later years.

  • Winterhardiness, 2.

  • Highly resistant to PRR; bacterial, fusarium and verticillium wilts; anthracnose; aphanomyces.

  • Resistant to pea aphids, phoma crown rot.

  • Advanced seedling resistance.

  • Highly traffic-tolerant; long-term stands; well-suited for grazing.

Dakota, from Great Plains Research, Apex, NC:

  • Exceptional winterhardiness for northern climates.

  • High yields; extended fall growth.

  • Highly resistant to PRR, fusarium and bacterial wilts.

  • Resistant to anthracnose, verticillium wilt.

EverGraze, from Chemgro Seeds:

  • New grazing variety for the Northeast.

  • Sunken crown for durability.

  • 70% multileaflet expression.

  • Winterhardiness, 2.5.

  • Highly resistant to PRR, anthracnose, bacterial and fusarium wilts.

Harvestar 812 HY, from Fielder's Choice, Monticello, IN:

  • Superior forage yield and quality.

  • Very fast recovery.

  • Highly resistant to PRR, bacterial and fusarium wilts.

  • Resistant to verticillium wilt, anthracnose, aphanomyces, pea and spotted alfalfa aphids, stem nematodes.

  • Moderately resistant to root-knot nematodes.

Hay Grazer, from Patriot Seed:

  • Excellent winterhardiness.

  • Good disease ratings.

  • Can be used for haying or grazing.

  • Provides high yields, high quality, long stand life.

  • Has broad, deep-set, dense crowns and heavy roots.

  • Can be used for continuous or rotational grazing.

Kow Kandy 4000, from Patriot Seed:

  • Very fast recovery; very winterhardy.

  • Carries multileaflet trait.

  • Exceptional leaf-to-stem ratios.

  • Upright, medium green plants with medium-fine stems.

  • Highly resistant to PRR, bacterial and fusarium wilts, Race 1 anthracnose, Race 1 aphanomyces.

  • Best-adapted to areas south of I-80 in NE, IA and IL.

  • Well-adapted to 3- or 4-cut systems.

  • Not recommended for grazing.

Monument 2, from Geertson Seed Farms, Adrian, OR:

  • Has winterhardiness and stand persistence for long rotations.

  • Superior performance in northern regions in sandy soil.

  • Highly resistant to fusarium wilt.

  • Resistant to root lesion nematodes, bacterial wilt, PRR and pea aphids.

  • Low resistance to verticillium wilt; susceptible to anthracnose.

Rebel, from Target Seed:

  • Winter survival, 2.2; long stand life.

  • Seedling resistance to PRR, aphanomyces.

  • Highly resistant to pea aphids.

  • Matures 4-5 days ahead of Vernal.

  • Resistant to potato leafhopper yellowing.

  • High stem protein; sunken crown for grazing tolerance.

  • 29/30 WDRI score.

FALL DORMANCY 4

WL 338 SR, from W-L Research:

  • Persistent and high yields in sclerotinia-infested soils.

  • Early fall dormancy 4.

  • Adapted to both 4- and 5-cut systems.

  • Resistant to all major insects, nematodes.

  • Adapted for hay, silage and grazing.

  • Excellent disease resistance; 29/30 WDRI score.

WL 342, also from W-L Research:

  • Winterhardiness, 1.7; fall dormancy, 4.1.

  • Superior yields across wide range of soil types.

  • Improved palatability produces more milk or beef per acre.

  • Exceptional multifoliate expression (87%).

  • Very fast recovery after harvest.

  • 30/30 WDRI score.

FALL DORMANCY 5

Recover, from Union Seed Co., Nampa, ID:

  • Excellent yield; winterhardiness, 2.8.

  • Recovers fast after harvest.

  • Highly resistant to the six most common diseases.

  • Resistant to pea and spotted alfalfa aphids, stem nematodes.

Reward II, from PGI Alfalfa:

  • Outstanding yield potential.

  • Very fast recovery after cutting.

  • Highly resistant to PRR, fusarium and bacterial wilts, root-knot nematodes.

  • Adapted to wide area.

  • Well-suited for long-term stands.

  • High leaf-to-stem ratios.

  • 27/30 WDRI score.

FALL DORMANCY 8

AmeriStand 801S, from America's Alfalfa:

  • Offers higher yield and digestibility than WL 525 HQ and other conventional varieties.

  • Yields well in saline soils or soils affected by saline irrigation water.

  • Resists all major CA alfalfa diseases.

  • Highly resistant to southern root-knot nematodes, blue and spotted alfalfa aphids.

AmeriStand 802, also from America's Alfalfa:

  • Advanced broad-spectrum pest protection promotes yield persistence.

  • Unique resistance to Southwestern crown rot complex.

  • High TDN and protein production.

  • Highly resistant to blue, spotted and pea aphids, southern root-knot nematodes.

FALL DORMANCY 9

SW 9720, from S&W Seed Co., Five Points, CA:

  • Salt-tolerant variety; well-suited to salty or well-drained soils.

  • Topped yield trial at University of California, Davis; topping forage yield test at USDA Salinity Lab.

  • Produced high yields at Imperial Valley and Maricopa, AZ.

  • Highly resistant to southern root-knot nematodes, pea aphids and spotted alfalfa aphids.

  • Resistant to PRR, fusarium wilt, blue alfalfa aphids.

NON-DORMANT

59N49, from Pioneer Hi-Bred International:

  • Non-hardy, adapted to Southwest.

  • Outstanding yield; quality forage.

  • Highly resistant to PRR, fusarium wilt, pea and spotted aphids.

  • Resistant to anthracnose, root-knot nematodes, blue aphids.

  • Moderately resistant to verticillium wilt.

  • Can be cut 7-9 times/year in areas of adaptation.