Another great showing for Legacy Seeds at World Dairy Expo
October 5, 2022
Legacy Seeds alfalfa varieties and corn hybrids are consistent winners with a Grand Champion prize in 2021 and multiple finalists in 2022
Legacy Seeds had another great showing in Madison at the World Dairy Expo’s World Forage Analysis Superbowl, proving once again that breeding for consistency and performance is a winning combination for forage production.
In 2021, Legacy Seeds’ LC-4118 sample earned the title of Grand Champion in the standard corn silage division. This year, LC3115SSX placed fifth and LC-4248VT2 placed ninth in the standard corn silage category.
Legacy Seeds alfalfa varieties had a strong year too. This year, L-451APH2+ placed in the top 10 of the Grand Champion commercial hay category and eighth in mixed/grass haylage. Another alfalfa variety, L-457HD+, placed eighth in dairy hay and sixth in alfalfa haylage. L-310 placed ninth in grass hay and fifth in mixed/grass haylage. L-470HD placed ninth in mixed/grass haylage.
“We have extremely consistent products coming through our breeding programs,” says Dave Robison, alfalfa business manager with Legacy Seeds. “We’re always looking for new alfalfa varieties that are a five to seven per cent yield increase over varieties that are already in the marketplace. That’s not easy.”
The Legacy Seeds corn research team and alfalfa breeders aren’t just focused on bin-busting forage yield. They are choosing alfalfa varieties and corn hybrids that perform consistently in the field in in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. That’s why the team at Legacy Seeds is proud that they placed so many varieties across multiple categories at WDE. It shows that Legacy Seeds performs in the field in real-world situations plus delivers results in the bunk.
“Consistently having finalists in the World Forage Analysis Superbowl helps support the research data we collect on our own,” says Robison. “We find that our HD® alfalfas have improved digestibility and have a better portfolio of forage quality tests over our competitors on a consistent basis. And our Ration Choice® corn portfolio keeps getting stronger, mainly because we’re not just breeding for stature or some other set of narrow traits.”
Having prize-winning alfalfa varieties and corn silage hybrids positions Legacy Seeds as the ultimate forage experts. That claim is supported by a growing amount and range of data collected by the company’s plant breeders.
A deeper dive into relevant data is an important driver behind the success in the Legacy Seeds corn and alfalfa breeding programs. Corn breeders evaluate and test corn silage on broad characteristics like fiber and overall total starch but both alfalfa and corn breeders have moved well beyond industry standard metrics like NDF48. They use a proprietary suite of tests and evaluate both agronomic and nutritional characteristics of new products. All these data points help dairy nutritionists balance feed.
The farmers growing winning crops often see the Legacy Seeds team as trusted advisors. The team works with the dairy nutritionist, agronomist, and the farmer to bring the right seed genetics for the crop and nutrition system, all with the goal of achieving higher ROI.
“Our customers tell us they know they’re into feeding the Legacy Seeds varieties in the bunk when the nutrition test starts to climb,” says Robison. “Even if they’re not testing, they can tell when they hit that part of the bunk because milk production increases. World Forage Analysis ribbons are great, but the real prize is knowing we’re delivering industry leading yield, quality, and persistence to producers.”