Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES - Results from a three-year study of alfalfa varieties are available to farmers just in time for seeding. The study was conducted at New Mexico State University's agricultural science centers at Artesia, Clovis Tucumcari, Los Lunas and Farmington.
The publication discusses considerations in selecting an alfalfa variety, including local adaptation and persistence, winter hardiness, and disease and insect resistance, as well as seed and forage quality. The report provides results from studies conducted from 1997 through 1999. It gives information by location and by test with a summary table showing how each variety fared throughout the state.
"There is quite a bit of information in the report," said forage agronomist Leonard Lauriault with NMSU's Tucumcari science center."But the important thing is to look at tests being conducted near the producer to see which varieties performed well."
Lauriault said the study results are available just in time, since alfalfa producers are selecting seed to plant in the next three to four weeks. Lauriault said producers are bombarded with information about alfalfa seed, but it is not always impartial.
"NMSU provides this information as an unbiased source because we don't make our living from selling alfalfa seed," Lauriault said. "This is a reliable source. The producer can look at all of the varieties tested side by side under the same circumstances to see which one out-performed the other."
The report is available on the World Wide Web at www.cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_a/RR741.html or can be obtained from any county Extension office. The publication will be available soon in a printed version. For more information, call Lauriault at (505) 461-1620.
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