Latest breakthrough in alfalfa technology

Farm Forum

SHOREVIEW, Minn. — In an effort to bring the industry’s first quality-enhancing trait to market, Forage Genetics International (FGI) announces that the reduced lignin trait will be known as HarvXtra alfalfa. This breakthrough technology is designed to ease the “yield-versus-quality” trade-off currently faced by alfalfa producers by improving forage quality over a longer period. This provides growers with greater flexibility and a wider cutting window to maximize yield potential.

“There are two key ways that producers can utilize the HarvXtra alfalfa technology,” said Matt Fanta, FGI President. “First, they can maintain their current harvest schedule routines and obtain improved quality forage compared to commercially available alfalfa harvested at the same growth stage. Otherwise, they can delay harvest by a few days and obtain higher tonnage while maintaining acceptable forage quality.”

HarvXtra alfalfa was developed through a strategic partnership between FGI, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center in conjunction with Monsanto.

HarvXtra alfalfa will be sold in a trait stack with Genuity Roundup Ready alfalfa, offering producers a number of advantages. In addition to the improved quality and harvest flexibility benefits of the HarvXtra alfalfa, the Genuity Roundup Ready technology delivers the ability to increase yield potential with faster stand establishment and less competition from weeds or traditional cover crops such as oats.

HarvXtra alfalfa is not currently available for sale; however, a petition to deregulate is currently under review by the USDA (the USDA comment period closed June 30, 2014). The company anticipates a limited commercial introduction in 2016 to allow growers the opportunity to realize the value and benefit of the technology.

About Forage Genetics International

For the past 50 years, Forage Genetics International ( has led the forage industry with innovative genetic discoveries, variety developments and cutting-edge product introductions.