HarvXtra™ alfalfa is the latest breakthrough in alfalfa technology from Forage Genetics International (FGI). It was developed through a strategic partnership formed between FGI, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center in conjunction with Monsanto.
Jeff Herrmann, Specialty Crops Technology Development Manager for DeKalb, Channel, and Jung seed brands sat down with AgWired at the 2015 World Dairy Expo to discuss this breakthrough technology. His takeaway centered on how the new trait is engineered to provide unprecedented improvement to both production level and forage quality of alfalfa over a longer period of time, providing growers with a solution to the historic yield vs. quality dilemma in alfalfa production.
“HarvXtra is a trait that focuses on a high-quality yield,” said Hermann, “The reduced lignin levels are going to allow the grower a higher Relative Forage Quality, so it’s more digestible forage for their animals, and it also allows them, if they wanted, to harvest a little bit later, and get more yield, and still maintain good forage quality.”
Growers should expect to see 10-15% less lignin in the plant, about 10% higher fiber digestibility, an increase of around 20 points for Relative Forage Quality(RFQ), and a $15-20/T price premium based on current Midwest hay pricing standards.
The HarvXtra trait will be stacked with the existing Genuity® Roundup Ready® alfalfa trait. Monsanto is planning on a limited release in 2016, pending regulatory approval, with a larger release in 2017.
Listen to my interview with Jeff here:
[wpaudio url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/zimmcomm/WDE-15-hermann.mp3″ text=”Interview with Jeff Herrmann, Monsanto”]
View and download photos from the event here: 2015 World Dairy Expo Photo Album