Breeder's Corner - alfalfa

Alfalfa is already an economically useful crop, but there is plenty more we can do to improve it.


Selective breeding improves alfalfa's performance

Right now we are conducting a series of worldwide trials to learn more about the yield levels, disease resistance and winter hardiness of our existing portfolio – and to pave the way for new and improved varieties.

At our breeding centre in northern France we have recently invested in the well-known genepool from Florimond-Desprez. And in many countries across Europe we are conducting a range of national variety trials.

In our current programme, the main germ plasm comes from varieties with a dormancy score in the range 4 to 5. This is the most common type used across much of Central, Eastern and Northern Europe.

DLF breeding programme

Our breeding programme aims to raise performance in the following areas:

  • Improve dry-matter yield
  • Improve feeding quality
    • Raised protein content
    • Better digestibility
  • Improve lodging resistance (standability)
  • Strengthen robust triple resistance to:
    • Stem nematodes
    • Verticillium
    • Colletotrichum (anthracnose)

Some of the registered varieties

  • SALSA, combines a top yield with nematode resistance
  • FADO, provides top protein levels and good disease tolerance
  • MEZZO, has a very high dry-matter yield and excellent standability
  • LUDELIS, is a specialist for sub-optimal soil conditions
  • CRENO, is a winter-hardy winner

Click here to read more about our alfalfa varieties.

Find a ForageMax® mixture containing alfalfa.
(Use the filter by ticking off 'Alfalfa' on the left side of the page).