2002 Montana Intra-State Alfalfa Variety Trials
Wichman, David M.
Sharp, Gail L.
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This report identifies superior alfalfa varieties for dryland forage production in central Montana. Yield results for alfalfa variety nurseries seeded in the years 2002, 2001, 2000, 1998, and 1997 are presented in tables F 1 through F 5, respectively. Drought conditions persisting since the spring of 1997 continue to depress alfalfa forage yields. Warm winter weather, which allows perennials such as alfalfa to remain actively growing through the late fall, winter and or early spring, causes the plants to deplete soil water reserves while producing little vegetation. Yield levels have been one half to one third of the expected yields. No significant variations in disease infections or insect feedings have been observed. Little variation in plot/treatment ranking across years has been observed. This indicates the importance of getting a good stand initially. Ladak-65 yield levels continue to be similar to those of more modern varieties, which have greater disease resistance. However, recent years have been dry and unsuitable for outstanding yield levels. In better yield conditions, this researcher expects modern varieties to exhibit a higher yield level relative to Ladak-65. The alfalfa nurseries have a scheduled longevity of four years. This provides sufficient information on yield potential. However, the stand longevity factor is not determined. Statewide alfalfa variety trial information is available at: http://animalrangeextension.montana.edu/Forage/forage_pub.htm
Cash, S.D., Ditterline, R.L., Sharp, G.L., Vavrovsky, J., Wichman, D.M. 2002. 2002 Montana Intra-State Alfalfa Variety Trials. Moccasin, Mt.: Central Agricultural Research Center.