Dairy farmers and commercial hay growers now have access to the first low lignin alfalfa on the market. Alforex Seeds introduced Hi-Gest low lignin alfalfa at the World Dairy Expo on Wednesday, Oct. 1. Following eight years of research and extensive testing, conventionally bred Hi-Gest is being described as a “game changer” that offers improved digestibility, high yields and additional harvest flexibility.
Remarking on animal nutrition, Alforex Seeds General Manager Ron Cornish said that Hi-Gest is easier for cattle to digest than alfalfa with a higher lignin content. “The agronomists, animal nutritionists, breeders and technical advisers working on Hi-Gest tracked digestible fiber algorithms to monitor how the low lignin product is broken down and digested in dairy cows,” Cornish said. “Simply stated, low lignin alfalfa delivers improved digestibility and allows cows to increase dry matter intake, yielding more milk per ton of alfalfa,” he said. It has been estimated that dairy cows fed Hi-Gest alfalfa could yield up to an additional 2.5 pounds of milk per cow per day. In addition, low lignin alfalfa also presents a potential reduction in ration costs.
Hi-Gest’s elite genetics address the elements that contribute to a robust alfalfa crop, including high yield, high quality and good agronomics. “Hi-Gest alfalfa takes away the trade-off that has traditionally existed between high forage yields and high forage quality. Hi-Gest offers growers the total package of improved yields, higher digestibility rates and good winter survival, along with superior disease and pest resistance,” said David Johnson, an Alforex Seeds team member and breeder.
Finally, Hi-Gest offers harvesting flexibility. Farmers can harvest on their regular schedule and get higher-quality hay. Or, they can choose to delay the harvest by up to seven days and get a hay quality comparable to the harvests they received before using Hi-Gest.
Alforex Seeds is offering a limited number of Hi-Gest dormancies in select regions during its introductory season. The company will roll out additional dormancies across an expanded growing area in 2015. “This is truly a revolutionary advancement for alfalfa growers and dairy farmers. Hi-Gest reflects Alforex Seeds’ commitment to alfalfa and forage excellence and continuing innovation,” Cornish said.
About Alforex Seeds: Alforex Seeds focuses on developing and delivering alfalfa and forage solutions that help hay, livestock and milk producers maximize the profitability of their operations. Through its affiliation with Dow AgroSciences, Alforex Seeds offers customers access to world-class systems, technologies and solutions. Learn more at www.alforexseeds.com.
About Dow AgroSciences: Dow AgroSciences, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, is committed to discovering, developing, and bringing to market crop protection and plant biotechnology solutions for the growing world. Dow AgroSciences is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company and had annual global sales of $7.1 billion in 2013. Learn more at www.dowagro.com. Follow Dow AgroSciences on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.