ALFALFA FORAGE VARIETY TRIAL, 1996-2000 Field B-2

Clint Shock, Monty Saunders, Mike Barnum, and Eric Eldredge

Malheur Experiment Station
Oregon State University
Ontario, Oregon

Purpose

The purpose of this alfalfa variety trial is to compare the yield potential of thirty two currently available alfalfa varieties in a four year life of stand.


Procedures

The variety trial was established in August of 1995, following a wheat crop. Pre plant fertilizer was 550 lb/acre 0-46-0 plus 200 lb/acre Sulfur broadcast and disked in. Plots were 7 rows of alfalfa planted six inches apart on beds 60 inches wide by 20 feet long. Thirty- two varieties of alfalfa were entered into the trial, each replicated four times in a randomized complete block experimental design. Alfalfa was seeded August 23, and 1 inch of sprinkler irrigation water was applied after planting.

On September 10, Poast at 2 pints/acre and 2,4-DB at 2 quarts/acre were applied. On November 11 a tank-mix of Kerb at 2 lb ai/acre plus Sencor at 2 lb ai/acre plus Diuron at 2 lb ai/acre was applied to the border area around the plots. On March 22, Kerb 50W at 1.5 lb ai/acre was applied, and incorporated by rainfall that day.

One eight hour sprinkler irrigation of 2.4 inches of water was applied May 7, and the first cutting was taken May 28. Plots were sampled by cutting a 30 inch swath from the center of each plot using a flail mower. The fresh hay was weighed, and the mositure content was determined by drying samples from eight randomly selected plots in a forage dryer. The next irrigation was 2.5 inches of water applied June 3 and 4. Another 2.5 inch irrigation application was applied June 18 and 19, and the second cutting was taken July 2. The third cutting was taken July 31, and the fourth cutting was taken September 11, with irrigation applied as needed during the summer.


Results and Discussion

The average yield of all the alfalfa varieties in the trial for the first year total of four cuttings was 8.81 ton/acre, based on 12 percent moisture content in the hay (Table 1). Significant differences in yield were found in the third cutting at the 10% probability level, and in the fourth cutting at the 5% probability level. The low overall first year yield and lack of detectable differences in total yield among the alfalfa varieties may be attributable to unproductive soil at the study site, suppresed growth due to herbicide injury, to non-uniform application of the sprinkler irrigation water, or the combination of those factors. In future years the irrigation system will include an additional sprinkler line in the plots to improve irrigation water application uniformity.

The information on varieties resistance to pests in Table 2 was provided by participating seed companies and/or the Certified Alfalfa Seed Council. Most of the varieties have some degree of resistance to diseases and pests that could limit hay production in our area. Growers should choose varieties that have stronger resistance ratings for known disease or pest problems in their fields as well as demonstrated potential for high yield.


Table 1. Alfalfa variety trial first year forage yields, Malheur Experiment Station, Orgon State University, Ontario, Oregon, 1996.
 
Variety 1st 5/28 2nd 7/2 3rd 7/31 4th 9/11 1996 Total
  ------------------------------ton/acre------------------------------------
Sterling 3.44 2.72 1.64 1.84 9.64
W-L 252HQ 3.22 2.77 1.49 1.99 9.48
Wrangler 3.3 0 2.58 1.54 1.91 9.33
Tahoe 2.83 2.76 1.73 1.98 9.3 0
330 3.51 2.26 1.63 1.91 9.3 0
UN 13 2.92 2.55 1.65 2.09 9.21
CUF-101 2.92 2.52 1.73 1.95 9.11
Magnum III 3.24 2.35 1.53 1.9 0 9.02
Sevelra 3.02 2.51 1.56 1.93 9.02
Excalibur II 3.01 2.33 1.61 1.97 8.91
MP 2000 2.8 0 2.51 1.54 2.05 8.9 0
Innovator +Z 3.16 2.42 1.42 1.87 8.87
ABI 9252 2.7 0 2.54 1.62 2. 00 8.86
Nitro 2.82 2.49 1.56 1.92 8.79
Idaho Gold 2.99 2.32 1.58 1.9 0 8.78
Rushmore 2.91 2.37 1.49 2.02 8.78
Gangbusters 2.78 2.42 1.55 2.01 8.76
Columbia 2000 2.97 2.29 1.59 1.91 8.75
ZX9352 2.7 0 2.53 1.55 1.95 8.73
Robust 3.08 2.14 1.6 0 1.85 8.67
Alfagraze 2.72 2.55 1.51 1.88 8.66
92-31F 2.8 0 2.39 1.59 1.89 8.66
Wild Card 2.61 2.46 1.67 1.9 0 8.64
Vernal 2.75 2.49 1.49 1.88 8.62
Goliath 2.89 2.11 1.59 1.97 8.57
Laser 152 2.83 2.2 0 1.64 1.89 8.55
Ladak 2.94 2.16 1.5 0 1.88 8.47
ZX9351 2.76 2.3 0 1.49 1.87 8.42
Lahontan 2.69 2.21 1.66 1.84 8.4 0
Orestan 2.67 2.21 1.6 0 1.79 8.26
Magnum IV 2.62 2.22 1.45 1.92 8.21
Stamina 2.72 2.04 1.49 1.95 8.2 0
Mean 2.91 2.4 1.57 1.93 8.81
LSD (0.10) - - 0.15 - -
LSD (0.05) ns ns ns 0.12 ns
Yield at 88% dry matter.        


Table 2. Disease and insect resistance levels for the 32 alfalfa varieties included in the 1996-2000 alfalfa forage evaluation trial at Malheur Experiment Station, Oregon State University, Ontario, Oregon, 1996. The information on varieties in this table was provided by participating seed companies and/or the Certified Alfalfa Seed Council.
 
Variety Source Release Year FD BW FW VW PRR AN SAA PA SN AP RKN
ABI 9252 ABI America's Alfalfa - 6 R R R R R HR R R - R
ZX9351 ABI America's Alfalfa -   - - - - - - - - - -
ZX9352 ABI America's Alfalfa -   - - - - - - - - - -
Alfagraze ABI America's Alfalfa -   - - - - - - - - - -
Innovator +Z ABI America's Alfalfa 93 3 HR HR R HR HR - R R - -
Excalibur II Allied Seed 94 4 HR HR R HR HR R R - R -
Columbia 2000 Allied Seed 96 2 R R - MR R - MR - - -
Stamina Allied Seed 96   HR HR HR HR HR HR R HR MR HR
Goliath Black Canyon Seed 93 3 HR R R R R MR R - - -
Idaho Gold Black Canyon Seed 93 4 R R MR R - MR - - - -
Sterling Cargill Hybrids 93 2 HR HR R HR HR - R - R -
MP 2000 Cenex/Land O'Lakes 94 3 HR HR R HR HR R HR   R -
Robust Gooding Seed 93 5 R HR R HR R R R R - MR
Laser 152 J-V Seeds 94 4 HR HR R HR R MR - MR MR MR
Rushmore Northrup King 93 4 HR HR R HR HR HR R - HR -
Tahoe Northrup King 93 6 MR HR R HR HR HR HR - - -
Magnum III Dairyland Seed 88 4 R R MR R MR MR R MR LR -
Magnum IV Dairyland Seed 92 4 HR HR R HR R MR - R MR MR
CUF-101 Public - 9 - - - - - HR HR - - -
Lahontan Public 54 6 MR LR - LR - MR LR R - -
Nitro Public   8 - - - R - MR - - - -
Wrangler Public 83 2 R R LR HR LR HR HR - - -
Orestan Public -   - - - - - - - - - -
Vernal Public - 2 R MR - - - - - - - MR
Ladak Public -   - - - - - - - - - -
Sevelra Public -   - - - - - - - - - -
Gangbusters Ray Brothers 94 4 HR R R R MR   R R - -
330 Union Seed 93 4 HR HR R HR HR R R - R -
UN 13 Union Seed 94 7 MR HR MR HR HR HR R - - -
Wild Card University of Idaho -   - - - - - - - - - -
92-31F W-L Research - 3 HR HR HR HR HR R R MR HR  
W-L 252HQ W-L Research 94 3 HR HR R HR HR MR - R - -

FD=Fall Dormancy, BW=Bacterial Wilt, FW=Fusarium wilt, VW=Verticillium wilt, PRR=Phytophthora Root Rot, AN=Anthracnose, SAA=Spotted Alfalfa Aphid, PA=Pea Aphid, SN=Stem Nematode, AP=Aphanomyces, RKN=Root Knot Nematode (Northern).

Fall Dormancy: 1=Norseman, 2=Vernal, 3=Ranger, 4=Saranac, 5=DuPuits, 6=Lahontan, 7=Mesilla, 8=Moapa 69, 9=CUF 101.

Pest Resistance Rating: >50%=HR (high resistance), 31-50%=R (resistant), 15-30%=MR (moderate resistance), 6-14%=LR (low resistance).