Breeder's Corner - alfalfa
Alfalfa is already an economically useful crop, but there is plenty more we can do to improve it.
Selective breeding improves alfalfa's performance
Right now we are conducting a series of worldwide trials to learn more about the yield levels, disease resistance and winter hardiness of our existing portfolio – and to pave the way for new and improved varieties.
At our breeding centre in northern France we have recently invested in the well-known genepool from Florimond-Desprez. And in many countries across Europe we are conducting a range of national variety trials.
In our current programme, the main germ plasm comes from varieties with a dormancy score in the range 4 to 5. This is the most common type used across much of Central, Eastern and Northern Europe.
DLF breeding programme
Our breeding programme aims to raise performance in the following areas:
- Improve dry-matter yield
- Improve feeding quality
- Raised protein content
- Better digestibility
- Improve lodging resistance (standability)
- Strengthen robust triple resistance to:
- Stem nematodes
- Colletotrichum (anthracnose)