New alfalfa varieties for 2001 continue the trend toward more planting flexibility. Some have more dormancy than their ratings would indicate. A fall dormancy 4 variety, for example, may possibly be grown in a fall dormancy 2 region — without additional stand loss, companies say.

The following varieties all have strong disease resistance. Expect them to produce high yields and high-quality forage, companies add. To decide which ones are best for your operation, read over this list, then check yield results from field trials in your region and test a few yourself.

To find additional varietal information, visit the Alfalfa Council's Web site www.alfalfa.org. It offers an alfalfa variety leaflet listing fall dormancy and pest resistance ratings. Or, call 816/891-0579 and order a copy for 50¢.

For variety trial information by state, log on to the Web site HayAnd Forage.com and then click on the 2001 Varieties logo. Or, click onto the North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference's Web site www.naaic.org and link into its alfalfa variety field trial results link.

The following varieties are organized by fall dormancy rating.

Fall Dormancy 3

It's all in this multifoliate's name, according to Croplan Genetics, St. Paul, MN. LegenDairy YPQ provides yield, persistence and quality. It has a winterhardiness rating of 1.7, and its Wisconsin Disease Rating Index (WDRI) score is 29 out of 30.

It has excellent resistance to five of the six major alfalfa diseases: phytophthora root rot (PRR), aphanomyces, anthracnose and bacterial and fusarium wilts, plus good resistance to verticillium wilt.

Forecast 3001 is a late-maturity alfalfa with terrific yields and top-end quality, according to Dairyland Seed Co., West Bend, WI. It has shown excellent persistence and strong disease resistance in company testing.

The variety flowers four to six days after medium alfalfas and is recommended for a three-cut harvest system.

FFR Cooperative, West Lafayette, IN, introduces the multifoliate Reliance, which has the ability to maintain a high level of forage quality over extended cutting intervals. It rates 29 out of 30 on the WDRI, and its superior winterhardiness has been exhibited in Upper Midwestern test plots.

Seed is available through Agway in New York and Pennsylvania, and through Growmark-FS in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Goldleaf, a high-performance variety from Gold Country Seed, Hutchinson, MN, is an exceptionally high-yielding, persistent alfalfa offering peak winterhardiness for tough Northern climates. It's highly resistant to PRR and bacterial and fusarium wilts. The variety also offers high resistance to anthracnose, verticillium wilt, pea aphid and aphanomyces.

It grows well in either poorly or well-drained soils.

AgVenture, Kentland, IN, introduces AV 3420, a late fall dormancy, high-quality forage with very fast recovery after cutting. More winterhardy than other varieties of this dormancy, say company officials, the alfalfa also has exceptional forage yield potential.

It's highly resistant to five of the six major alfalfa diseases and is resistant to verticillium wilt and pea aphid. It should adapt well to all areas where fall dormancy 3 and 4 varieties are planted.

Fall Dormancy 4

AmeriStand 403T received a 2.1 winterhardiness rating from Minnesota and Wisconsin universities — better than any other fall dormancy 4 variety ever tested in their winter survival trials.

The high-yielding alfalfa can be grown in fall dormancy 2-4 adaptation areas without increasing winter stand loss, according to America's Alfalfa, Shawnee Mission, KS. Highly resistant to all major alfalfa diseases, it's resistant to aphanomyces race 2 and has early season resistance to wet soil diseases. It was the top variety in its dormancy in Wisconsin yield testing under wheel traffic.

Forecast 1001 from Dairyland Seed Co. is an early maturity alfalfa with excellent top-end tonnage, according to company tests. It also features an excellent disease package with a WDRI score of 26/30. It has shown some tendencies toward branch rooting in high water table environments.

GH700 from Golden Harvest provides high resistance to anthracnose; aphanomyces race 1; PRR; bacterial, verticillium and fusarium wilts; and pea aphid. Its WDRI score: 30/30.

A management friendly variety, it can maintain high quality under a wide range of cutting schemes. The alfalfa also gives superior persistence, with a winterhardiness rating of 1.5.

Mountaineer from Croplan Genetics, is highly resistant to stem nematode, giving growers wide adaptability. A multifoliate, the variety provides good yield and quality. It has a 29/30 WDRI score, making it suitable for higher elevations.

It's highly resistant to five of the six major alfalfa diseases and resistant to verticillium wilt.

From Geertson Seed Farms, Adrian, OR, Trophy combines resistance to all major diseases with excellent yield performance and superior winterhardiness. It recovers fast after cutting and shows impressive fall growth.

The alfalfa has produced impressive yields in many university tests throughout the U.S.

New from W-L Research, Madison, WI, WL 342 has produced exceptionally high yields across a wide range of harvest managements and soil types. It also displays unsurpassed persistence and productivity for a fall dormancy 4 alfalfa.

The variety recovers very quickly after harvest and has a dramatically improved stand life. It's highly resistant to all six of the major alfalfa diseases and produced a WDRI score of 30/30.

Fall Dormancy 5

Croplan Genetics' 5-Star, a multifoliate alfalfa, offers aggressive regrowth and a winterhardiness rating of 2. It scored 28 out of 30 on the WDRI. Highly resistant to PRR, bacterial wilt, anthracnose and fusarium wilt, it's resistant to aphanomyces and verticillium wilt.

Commercial hay growers in Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas should look at the variety, Croplan officials say.

Fall Dormancy 6

TruTest, a new alfalfa from RS Seeds, Shafter, CA, is semi-dormant with high resistance to fusarium wilt, PRR, blue and spotted alfalfa aphids, pea aphid and anthracnose. It's also resistant to both bacterial and verticillium wilts, stem nematode and both Northern and Southern root knot nematode.

Testing in Woodland, Kingsburg and Holtville, CA, showed the variety's adaptability and forage yield potential.

Fall Dormancy 8

The only fall dormancy 8 with patented salt tolerance genetics, AmeriStand 801S (America's Alfalfa) improves stand establishment and yield persistence. It has seedling resistance to wet soil diseases, resists all major alfalfa diseases and is highly resistant to aphids and Southern root knot nematode.

In 28 head-to-head yield comparisons, AmeriStand 801S produced $23.73/acre more profit/year than competing varieties and demonstrated greater digestibility and protein production than WL 525 HQ.

AmeriStand 802, also from America's Alfalfa, has high resistance to blue, spotted and pea aphids and to Southern root knot nematode. This variety tests high in TDN and outprofited the competition by $33/acre/year in yield comparisons. It offers protection from Southwestern crown rot caused by fusarium wilt, rhizoctonia and stagnospora.

CutMor alfalfa, available from RS Seeds, Shafter, CA, is a strong-performing, non-dormancy 8 variety with outstanding persistence and excellent forage yield. It has very high resistance to fusarium wilt, PRR and blue alfalfa aphid. It's also resistant to verticillium wilt, anthracnose and stem nematode.

Fall Dormancy 9

SW 9628, with its 9.4 fall dormancy rating, is available at SW Seed Co., Five Points, CA. It's adapted to very hot temperatures from central California to desert areas of California and Arizona.

It was the highest-yielding variety in three years of University of California trials. The alfalfa is resistant to fusarium wilt; PRR; spotted, pea and blue aphids; and Southern root knot nematode.

The newest from W-L's HQ (high quality) program, WL 625 HQ combines outstanding yield and feed value characteristics. The alfalfa offers superior crude protein, a higher TDN percentage and greater digestibility. It's highly resistant to all major aphid, disease and nematode problems that attack non-dormant alfalfas.

A dark-green, leafy and fine-stemmed variety, it's tolerant to most major leaf diseases.