Background and Development of Standfast™ Alfalfa
Standability (lodging tolerance) is an important agronomic trait in several major crops including barley, wheat, oats and canola. Improved standability results in increased harvestable yield, improved crop quality and increased harvest efficiency. Lodged alfalfa canopies can cause significant field losses to growers by reducing both the yield and quality of the crop due to leaf senescence in the downed canopy and increased plant stubble left in the field.
Faster recovery time following harvest maximizes overall alfalfa yields. A faster recovery after harvest shortens the number of days between harvests and allows growers to maximize the total number of cuttings and net yield each season. Fast recovery also contributes to improved weed control and soil moisture conservation for crop growth by closing the canopy quicker.
Standfast™ alfalfas were developed from crossing European based germplasm with elite North American germplasm pools. The unique combination of genetics resulted in a group of alfalfas expressing two distinct agronomic traits. The first trait being improved standabilty, meaning more erect stems at all stages of growth compared to other commercial varieties grown under similar conditions. The second trait being faster growth after harvest compared to other varieties grown under similar conditions.
Variety Update – Stealth II Alfalfa
Stealth II alfalfa with Standfast™ technology offers up to 30% faster growth than other competitive varieties, resulting in extra cuttings and more harvestable yield each season. Stealth II can produce and extra 4 to 6 inches of growth in the first 21 days after each cut and reach maturity 3 to 5 days ahead of other alfalfas. Additionally, Stealth II has bred in lodging protection over the entire growing period for improved harvest efficiency.
• High yielding
• Fast regrowth
• Fall dormancy rating: 4
• Winter hardiness index: 2.1
• Improved standability
• Early maturity
• Improved disease resistance