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For more than three decades, alfalfa breeders have used conventional breeding techniques to select for improved forage quality. The most advanced alfalfa available today, HarvXtra® alfalfa offers farmers more cutting flexibility for greater yield potential or improved forage quality by modifying lignin content beyond what is possible with conventional breeding.
Lignin is important in maintaining alfalfa’s standability; however, it is not very digestible. HarvXtra® alfalfa “rewires” how an alfalfa plant makes lignin, changing both composition and content with no increase in lodging.
CROPLAN® HarvXtra® alfalfa varieties contain an average of 20 percent less lignin and 17 percent higher neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFD) when compared to conventional alfalfa at the same stage of maturity. Farmers can choose to delay harvest up to 7-10 days to attain greater yield without sacrificing quality. Trials showed CROPLAN® HarvXtra® alfalfa varieties with three cuttings at 35-day intervals achieved 20 percent more forage yield over the life of the stand than conventional alfalfa with four cuttings at 28-day intervals.*