Oct. 23, 2017 01:21 PM

Katherine and Kendall Guither, Sam E. Brandenburg, and Ed Schumacher produce winners with high-quality W-L Alfalfas varieties.

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It was quite the showing for Illinois farmers who competed with W-L Alfalfas varieties in the 2017 World Forage Analysis Superbowl competition. Held in conjunction with World Dairy Expo, the contest compares forage samples from across North America using laboratory and visual analysis. This year, a record-breaking 1,066 entries were evaluated in the contest, with winners named on Oct. 4.

Walnut, Illinois, farming couple Katherine and Kendall Guither took first and third place in the Baleage division. “High-quality hay is always in short supply and brings a better sale price, which is why we select varieties carefully and manage our crop closely,” said first-place winner Katherine Guither. The Guithers’ first-place entry was a fifth cutting of the WL 365HQ variety. The Guither’s are four-time first-place winners at the World Forage Analysis Superbowl.

Sam E. Brandenburg of Brandenburg Hay & Cattle, Monticello, Illinois, struck silver with his first-ever entry in the forage competition, placing second in the Baleage division with WL 301HVX.RR, a HarvXtra® alfalfa with Roundup Ready® technology variety. “I am very excited and honored to be a winner of the Superbowl because I know and respect that the competition is fierce,” said Brandenburg. “We didn’t have to harvest on an exact 28-day interval to get supreme quality potential. We chose a fall dormancy rating of 4 over 5 because FD5s need to be managed harder. On one cutting, we were out 40 days, but we were still making 180 relative forage quality, proving to us that this alfalfa variety has great flexibility.”

Ed Schumacher of S & B Dairy, Sigel, Illinois, took second-place honors in the Dairy Hay division. “I’m really particular about my hay and very careful about the samples I send to competitions,” explained Schumacher, who has won numerous awards in various competitions over the years. “You need to purchase seed with good potential — the best you can find — that will help deliver good scores on relative feed quality, protein and regrowth. “I got eight cuttings of alfalfa last year from this variety, which is the most I’ve ever cut in a season.”

According to Kendall Guither, the Baleage division’s third-place winner, alfalfa growers should pay close attention to details on every aspect of hay production throughout the growing season. “You have to be particular about the variety you pick, the seeding rate you choose, when you cut and rake, and getting high bale density to exclude oxygen. The biggest thing under our control that affects quality is an aggressive cutting schedule. Once the plant reaches maximum feed value, it’s time to cut.”

Also bringing home hardware with his W-L Alfalfas variety was Wayne Probst of Triple P Farms, Effingham, Illinois, who placed fifth with an entry of WL 356HQ.RR in the Dairy Hay division.

Check here for a complete list of 2017 World Forage Analysis Superbowl winners. For more information about W-L Alfalfas, visit wlalfalfas.com.

About W-L Alfalfas
W-L Research is a research-focused alfalfa seed company with almost 60 years of experience producing high-quality alfalfa seed that helps improve various production goals for alfalfa growers.

In the following states, purchase and use of HarvXtra® Alfalfa with Roundup Ready® Technology is subject to a Seed and Feed Use Agreement, requiring that products of this technology can only be used on farm or otherwise be used in the United States: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. In addition, due to the unique cropping practices do not plant HarvXtra® Alfalfa with Roundup Ready® Technology or Roundup Ready® Alfalfa in Imperial County, California, pending import approval and until Forage Genetics International, LLC (FGI) grants express permission for such planting.

Forage Genetics International, LLC (“FGI”) is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). FGI products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with FGI’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. As of June 2017, Roundup Ready® Alfalfa and HarvXtra® Alfalfa with Roundup Ready® Technology have pending import approvals. GROWERS MUST DIRECT ANY PRODUCT PRODUCED FROM HARVXTRA® ALFALFA WITH ROUNDUP READY® TECHNOLOGY SEED OR CROPS (INCLUDING HAY AND HAY PRODUCTS) ONLY TO UNITED STATES DOMESTIC USE. Any crop or material produced from this product can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for this product. Growers should refer to http://www.biotradestatus.com/ for any updated information on import country approvals. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Biotechnology Industry Organization.

ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® crops contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate. Glyphosate herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate.

Roundup Ready® is registered trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC, used under license by Forage Genetics International, LLC. HarvXtra® is a registered trademark of Forage Genetics International, LLC. HarvXtra® Alfalfa with Roundup Ready® Technology is enabled with Technology from The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc. W-L Alfalfas® is a registered trademark and HQ™ is a trademark of Forage Genetics International, LLC.