Aug. 29, 2016 01:24 PM

After a successful introduction, more growers can benefit from the first genetically enhanced alfalfa for improved quality and cutting flexibility.

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

HarvXtra® Alfalfa with Roundup Ready® Technology from Forage Genetics International, LLC (FGI), the industry’s first genetically enhanced alfalfa developed to maximize quality compared to conventional alfalfa at the same stage of maturity, by reducing the amount of lignin in the plant, is widely available for planting across the continental United States starting Jan 1, 2017. Limited quantities of HarvXtra® Alfalfa with Roundup Ready® Technology planted in 2015 and 2016 scored high marks from farmers in an independent research trial, preparing the way for broader distribution in 2017.*

“We’re looking forward to offering HarvXtra® alfalfa benefits to more growers in the coming season,” said Shawn Barnett, FGI general manager. “By modifying lignin content beyond what’s possible with conventional alfalfa breeding techniques, HarvXtra® alfalfa has been proven to change the relationship between forage quality and date of maturity. During its introductory phase last year and into this season, growers have reported seeing improved forage quality and greater cutting flexibility.”

HarvXtra® alfalfa, which is also stacked with Roundup Ready® Technology, offers growers a significant increase in quality when a normal harvest schedule is maintained. Research trials show a 16 percent increase in relative forage quality (RFQ) and 16 percent higher neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFd) across cuttings. Alternatively, growers benefit from cutting flexibility, and the ability to delay harvest for 7-10 days for an increased yield potential of up to 26 percent over the life of the stand, without sacrificing forage quality.**

“After we started the first cutting this year, it rained every couple of days, taking us more than a week to finish cutting,” said Wisconsin grower Mike Brunmeier. “We cut the HarvXtra® alfalfa last – about 10 days after the first fields were cut – along with a conventional alfalfa field for comparison. The samples we pulled showed that the HarvXtra® had a 42-point advantage in relative forage quality and scored higher than the conventional alfalfa in other feed value areas.”

Pennsylvania farmer Donnie Martin reported a significant difference in milk weight after feeding his dairy cows a ration that included HarvXtra® alfalfa in 2015. “We kept everything in the feed ration the same, only replacing the conventional alfalfa with HarvXtra® alfalfa,” he explained. “After the switch, we gained more than 2.5 pounds of milk per cow per day. That extra milk can really add up in a month.”

Visit to learn more and find a list of brands that will offer HarvXtra® Alfalfa with Roundup Ready® Technology and discover where they can be purchased.

*Until December 31, 2016, HarvXtra® Alfafla with Roundup Ready® Technology may only be sold and planted in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin (the “Eastern States”)

Starting January 1, 2017, HarvXtra® Alfalfa with Roundup Ready® Technology may be sold and planted in the Eastern States and also in the following states subject to a Seed and Feed Use Agreement: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming (the “Western States”)

** Data comes from FGI trials comparing HarvXtra® Alfalfa with Roundup Ready® Technology 2017 commercial varieties to commercial checks. Trials were seeded in 2013 and harvested in 2014 and 2015 from Nampa, Idaho, Touchet, Wash., Boone, Iowa, West Salem, Wisc., and Mt Joy, Pa. Yield increase is directly correlated to the ability to delay harvest.

About Forage Genetics International

For the past 25 years, Forage Genetics International ( has led the forage industry with innovative genetic discoveries, variety developments and cutting-edge product introductions. Our relentless drive for improved forage production is behind our unprecedented advancements. As the industry’s leading provider of forage solutions, we breed, develop and produce premier alfalfa seed. Our highly experienced staff delivers packaging, distribution and training services to complement our premium product offerings — all customized to meet the varied needs of our customers.