Persistence is A Key Attribute to Our Alfalfa Line-Up

By James Ferrell   |   March 17, 2023

Focused Breeding Program

At Legacy Seeds, we pride ourselves on breeding alfalfa with 3 key pillars – yield, quality, and persistence. Persistence is a large part of our program because we want growers to get the most out of a bag of Legacy Seeds brand alfalfa.  

The Value of PersistencePersistence snow field

Persistence is the continued growth and existence of plants after multiple years of harvesting and winter conditions. Winter is tough on an alfalfa field and can leads to reduced stand counts over time. We cannot control Mother Nature, but we do have some control over our genetics. We put the best genetics in a Legacy Seeds bag to help growers buffer the effects of Mother Nature. While we can dampen the effects of harsh winters, we cannot prevent against all loss when certain environmental conditions are present. Such conditions include icing, which is detrimental to any alfalfa stand regardless of the genetics. Icing can cause physical heaving of the soil, disrupt gas exchange, and lead to the accumulation of carbon dioxide. Luckily, icing is something that does not occur every winter and in some cases, can be prevented with soil and crop management. 

Patience Renders Persistence Persistence snow field

Breeding for persistence takes time as we need to let the plants survive multiple winters. This allows us to only select individuals who have proved themselves as persistent. Our effort on persistence shows up in the data when you compare Legacy Seeds alfalfa to our competitors. In the graph, you can see Legacy Seeds alfalfa compared to our competitors. This data comes from trials planted throughout Wisconsin in the spring of 2019. After 3 winters in 2022, notes where taken on the % of stand remaining (see graph). We can see the future is bright for Legacy Seeds alfalfa as the experimental varieties are performing very well. The LS variety is in our current lineup and is proving itself as a persistent variety compared to the competitors. This data shows our dedication to one of the key pillars in our program persistence – and show our commitment to the grower. It is worth the extra time and effort to let the plants endure multiple winters before advancing in the program. These extra steps show our commitment to the grower. 

Persistence graph

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