Aug. 28, 2020 10:30 AM

Projects Funded from California to Virginia

This item has been supplied by a forage marketer and has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hay & Forage Grower.

The U.S. Alfalfa Farmer Research Initiative (USAFRI), better known as the Alfalfa Checkoff, recently awarded its 7th round of funding to projects submitted by researchers from across the country. Researchers in six states were awarded funding.

“NAFA’s Alfalfa Checkoff program continues to fund much-needed research into a wide range of topics within the alfalfa community,” said Beth Nelson, NAFA President. “Just as we anticipated when we began the program, we’re engaging many new researchers who are eager to work on alfalfa.”

NAFA’s Alfalfa Checkoff request for proposals generated 15 research projects from a broad geographic area, stretching from California to Virginia, demonstrating continued demand among researchers for alfalfa research funding. Proposals addressed a wide range of topics intended to drive innovation and profitability in the alfalfa industry - from developing an app for smart irrigation scheduling to evaluating non-fiber carbohydrates in alfalfa. Research projects in California, Georgia, Montana, New Mexico, Virginia, and Wisconsin were funded. They include: (project objectives can be viewed on the NAFA website):

  • Evaluation of the Efficacy of Saflufenacil Tank-Mixes and Sequential Applications Applied in Early Fall for the Control of Plantain and Field Bindweed in Alfalfa Fields
    - Leslie Beck, New Mexico State University
  • Inclusion of Alfalfa Hay in Diets for Non-Lactating Dairy Cows During the Prepartum Period
    - Gonzalo Ferreira, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Development of New Alfalfa Products in Combination with Almond Hulls for Emerging Domestic and International Markets
    - Dan Putnam, University of California-Davis
  • Closing the Alfalfa Yield Gap While Improving Soil Fertility and Health
    - Nicole Tautges, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
  • Alfalfa Bermudagrass Management Guide and Additional Educational Resources
    - Jennifer Tucker, University of Georgia
  • On-Farm Research to Support the Registration of New Insecticides for Alfalfa
    - Kevin Wanner, Montana State University

The NAFA review committee selected projects that best met established research priorities, including: feed value consistency (i.e., harvest, storage, digestibility, sampling); forage quality improvements; new uses and market development; and yield improvements. Proposals were scored on methodology/analytical approaches; industry need; cost effectiveness/budget/matching funds; partnerships; and outreach.

The Alfalfa Checkoff call for proposals is released twice a year, in May with proposals due in June, and in November with proposals due in December. Final reports continue to roll in and reveal important data and information. Those reports are available at Be sure to bookmark this page and continue to monitor it for continuing results throughout the year.

NAFA strongly encourages alfalfa farmers to patronize participating alfalfa seed brands to support the Alfalfa Checkoff:

Alfalfa Partners – S&W Seed

Alforex Seeds

America's Alfalfa





Fontanelle Hybrids

Forage First

FS Brand Alfalfa

Gold Country Seed

Hubner Seed

Jung Seed Genetics

Kruger Seeds

Latham Hi-Tech Seeds

Legacy Seeds

Lewis Hybrids



Prairie Creek Seed

Rea Hybrids

Simplot Grower Solutions



Stone Seed

W-L Research

(If your favorite alfalfa brand is not on the list, contact NAFA at 651.484.3888 for information on how a seed marketer can become a participating brand.)