Remarking on the patent, Alforex Seeds Global Research Leader Dr. Jon Reich said the patent validates the data and science-based protocols supporting Hi-Gest® 660.
While the patent verifies the data and science underlying Hi-Gest® 660, Alforex Seeds General Manager Ron Cornish said that farmers’ wide acceptance of the low lignin technology is the ultimate vote of confidence. “Since its introduction in 2014, Hi-Gest 660 has helped dairy cows achieve more milk per ton of alfalfa. We thank dairymen and commercial growers for their support which has been integral to the product’s success,” said Cornish.
Farmers have responded favorably to Hi-Gest® 660 not only for its role in supporting enhanced milk production, but for the harvest flexibility it offers. Hi-Gest low lignin alfalfa allows farmers to delay harvest an additional five to seven days and achieve quality comparable to non-low lignin alfalfa varieties cut at the usual harvest date.
Alforex Seeds’ receipt of the Hi-Gest® 660 patent follows the company’s extensive investment in research and development to create and commercialize the technology, including several years of breeding efforts and the screening of hundreds of thousands of plants. “Selecting for improved forage quality is a complex process incorporating numerous genetic and environmental factors,” Reich said. “Alforex scientists carefully selected for elite parental material that expressed both strong agronomic traits and low lignin content. These elite parent plants were then combined to develop high-yielding alfalfa varieties expressing the low lignin trait. It is a tremendous honor for Hi-Gest 660 to receive a U.S. patent protecting against the unauthorized propagation of this genetic technology.”
Cornish added that Alforex Seeds looks forward to future patents on additional Hi-Gest® low lignin varieties. In addition to Hi-Gest 660, Alforex Seeds has developed and introduced additional low lignin varieties including Hi-Gest 360 for dormant growers, as well as AFX 960 and AFX 1060 for non-dormant production areas of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.