The Alfalfa Seed and Alfalfa Forage System Program supports the development of improved alfalfa forage and seed production systems. The projects selected for funding this year support one or more of ASAFS’ priorities:
- Increase alfalfa forage and seed yields and forage quality through improved management practices, plant breeding, and other strategies to reduce biotic and abiotic stresses and costs of production.
- Improve alfalfa forage and seed harvest and storage systems, including automation that reduces labor costs, to optimize economic returns to alfalfa producers as well as end users including milk producers.
- Develop methods to estimate alfalfa forage yield and quality to support marketing as a livestock feed and instruments to reduce producer risks.
- Explore new uses for alfalfa such as in fish feeds, nutritive supplements, alternative protein sources for human consumption, high-value chemical manufacturing, or other novel uses.
- Develop improved insect, disease and weed management strategies, including spotted aphid in alfalfa seed production and potential herbicide carry-over issues.
- Document the contribution of alfalfa production systems to climate-smart agriculture, including the sequestration of carbon.