Alfalfa

Medicago sativa (x varia)

The queen of feed plants produces outstanding green mass and dry mass yields and offers excellent feed quality.
Alfalfa's astonishing protein content of 20 per cent makes it an ideal choice for protein-rich feed production.
Its deep roots make it perfect as a preceding crop, and since it is a legume it fixes nitrogen for the subsequent crop at no cost to the grower.
Alfalfa is also an excellent pioneer plant when bringing former mining areas back into cultivation.
Alfalfa prefers calcium-rich, deep soils.
The best time to harvest alfalfa is between bud and flower stage. The crop should be allowed to get to full flower once in the growing period, as this will enable it to store sufficient reserves in its roots and make it more robust.
The robust, winter-hardy varieties in our range can be cropped for 3 years.

Also available as coated seed inoculated with noduleforming bacteria

PERFORMANCE PROFILE

  • nodular bacteria replace mineral nitrogen fertiliser
  • after turning over the soil:
    160 kg N/ha= 600 kg calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) in the soil
  • rhizobia can live for over 12 months

Alfalfa seed with nodular bacteria (rhizobia) in the protective coat - a ready-to-sow product that saves up to 160 kg of mineral nitrogen/ha.

Alfalfa BERLIN

Our special variety for the Middle East and Arab Countries with dormancy 9 – 10

Origin and breeding
The components of BERLIN were bred and developed on behalf of Feldsaaten Freudenberger GmbH & Co. KG in Australia by selection among disease-resistant survivors from old fields of Siriver , Sequel, Cuf 101 and other US and Argentine high dormancy Alfalfa’s. Plants were selected on plant characteristics, superior fodder yield, reliable seed production and improved disease and pest resistance. These plants were then transferred to several polycross nurseries and over successive cycles of selection plants with superior features were retained and others were eliminated before flowering, the subsequent desirable and stable populations were harvested and used to create the components of BERLIN.

The Australian variety ‘Sequel’ has performed very well in Argentina, northern New South Wales and southern Queensland. Siriver has been the most widely sought after Australian Alfalfa in world markets, Cuf101 is an important American aphid-resistant variety which was used in the breeding of both ‘Siriver’ and ‘Sequel’. The US and Argentine material was introduced to further enhance the adaptability and resistances. The aim was to produce broadly adapted and high yielding component varieties by selection of superior plants from within proven varieties. Traditional breeding methods were used.

Agronomic characters
Plants are moderately tall with erect leafy stems. Plants are highly winter active (Fall Dormant rating 9/10) with strong autumn and spring growth and vigorous recovery from cutting or grazing. BERLIN is early flowering with flowers varying from light to dark blue, rarely white. In resistance to pests and diseases BERLIN is superior to ‘Cuf101’ and ‘Sequel’ (see table 1). Independent tests for levels of resistance in the components of BERLIN were conducted by Crop Characteristics Inc. MN, USA. to international standards

Table 1 Disease and pest resistance of BERLIN, ‘Cuf101’ and ‘Sequel’. NB this is an amalgamation of the results of the components of BERLIN.

Spotted aphid Blue aphid Pea aphid Phytophthora Anthracnose Salinity
BERLIN HR* HR R R LR R
Cuf101 HR LR R MR S R
Sequel R LR R MR R R

* HR – highly resistant, R – resistant, MR – moderate resistant, LR – low resistant, S - susceptible

In a replicated cutting trial hay yield was determined in irrigated stands of BERLINS components  and ‘Cuf101’. Management was as in commercial crops.  Cut material was field dried to approximately 12% moisture before weighing.  Mean hay yield of BERLIN was 10% above that of ‘Cuf101’. 

BERLIN and its components are protected under Australian Intellectual Property rights Legislation .