Establishment of dense vigorous stands of alfalfa is essential for long-term profitability, but establishment can be challenging because seedling alfalfa is vulnerable to competition from annual weeds and wind and water erosion. Roundup Ready Alfalfa was re-introduced last year as a new tool available to farmers growing high quality alfalfa. While not for everyone, it will be useful for many alfalfa growers.
A first and important question is concerning the yield potential of RR varieties. While the RR trait was generally put in better germplasms, early trials (planted in 2006) showed a range of yield potential for RR varieties. It is too early to tell definitely for the next generation of RR varieties since we only have seeding year data from 2011, however it appears again that there will be a range of yields with some RR varieties in the top yielding group and some doing less well. It will be important to check variety trials to select high yielding varieties.