New ‘AA’ alfalfa varieties provide boost for growers

A strong start to your alfalfa stand is important. The soil environment that alfalfa is seeded into can mean success or failure for the stand. Management practices like seedbed preparation and soil fertility, can influence stand establishment.

Soil borne diseases like aphanomyces root rot and anthracnose can also have a serious impact on your stand establishment and alfalfa productivity.

The multi-pathogen disease resistance package is built into the new varieties of CROPLAN alfalfa, designated with the AA in their variety name. New AA products have very high resistance (HR+) to multiple races of aphanomyces root rot and anthracnose plant disease.

Aphanomyces root rot symptoms include:

• Commonly found in soils that are saturated, poorly drained, compacted or have limited water dispersal.

• Infects alfalfa roots; causes stunting, reduced nodulation, poor root development in seedlings and mature stands

• Visual symptoms can include gray, water-soaked roots, yellow cotyledons, and stunted growth that can result in limited yield production or stand failure.

• The dark green areas of the map indicate soils that are more likely to cause a significant economic impact.

• CROPLAN alfalfa varieties with HR+ to multi-race aphanomyces include new HVX MegaTron AA and MegaTron, new RR AphaTron AA, Gunner AA, Rebound AA, and LegenDairy AA.

Stronger seedlings and healthier roots

Bigger roots mean bigger yield potential. The combination of genetics in the AA products have exceptional protection for healthy root establishment. Healthy roots lead to a strong and extensive root system allowing for more water and nutrient uptake to support high yield potential, stand longevity, and a better chance of surviving during stress and tough winters.

Increased stand persistence

Alfalfa plants with increased disease resistance have healthier roots. Healthy plants establish, produce, and persist better when compared to plants lacking the new multi-pathogen disease resistance features. Extensive root systems allow for the alfalfa plant to optimize water use especially when plants transition from too wet to too dry conditions.

The established extensive root system will be more efficient at capturing necessary nutrients and converting it into plant growth for increased yield potential. In addition, healthy plants have great ability to store carbohydrates to prepare for winter.