A second-generation hybrid alfalfa specifically designed for heavy, wet soils will be available for the 2011 season.

HybriForce-2420/Wet is a branch-rooted hybrid that offers a potential 5% yield advantage over HybriForce-420/Wet, a first-generation release, according to Dairyland Seed, West Bend, WI.

“It offers something different to customers who may not have the most productive soils,” says Chad Staudinger, the company's forage product manager. “HybriForce-2420/Wet is designed for poorly drained soils, so that's where we ask it be placed. However, in most scenarios, it will perform with the tap-rooted varieties — unless you're in a real drought situation.

“The new hybrid's branch-rooted trait allows the root to grow parallel to the soil surface, particularly in heavier soils, or soils with a higher water table,” he says.

More of the root system stays above the water table and better anchors the plant as the ground freezes and thaws, adds Steve Wagner, a Dairyland alfalfa breeder located at its Clinton, WI, research center.

The hybrid also offers high resistance to the six major alfalfa diseases and resistance to Race 2 Aphanomyces root rot. According to the company, it outyielded competitors 82% of the time when tested in independent university trials.

HybriForce-2420/Wet was developed using Dairyland's patented msSunstra Hybrid Alfalfa Technology. Through this process, the hybrid alfalfas all feature greatly improved uniformity, consistently fine stems and greater productivity, the company maintains.

“Gen-2's fine stems mean faster drydown and faster harvest,” says Staudinger. “The fine stems also feature greater palatability for dairy cows, which means less wasted forage at the end of the day.”

For more information, visit www.dairylandseed.com.