Alfalfa is the most extensively grown perennial legume inWisconsin. In 2015, 1.3 million acres were harvested, producing 4.55 million tons of pure and mixed dry hay, an average yield of 3.5 tone per acre (USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2015). Worldwide, alfalfa has been known among forage plants as the ‘Queen’ of forages because of its productivity, and superior forage nutritive value. Alfalfa breeders and molecular biologists have been working for over a decade on improving the quality of alfalfa by targeting the reduction of lignin in leaf and stems. Sets of reduced-lignin varieties are scheduled to be on the market in limited supplies in 2016. The information presented is an update on the advances and management considerations for these new alfalfa varieties.
Soil Science Extension
University of Wisconsin Madison