Alfalfa plant genetics  
Great strides are being made to help increase forage quality, such as lowering lignin levels and increasing digestibility – resulting in an increase in animal production, while decreasing manure output.

Catt corey
Forage Products Manager / Latham Hi-Tech Seeds

Another area that is starting to be studied is tannins in alfalfa and how they can help reduce protein losses in the rumen, reducing protein supplementation.

Soil management/fertility
Industry crop management programs
Yield starts here. There are some amazing crop management computer programs helping manage all crop production functions, from precise grid soil sampling to data management – the key to revealing production-limiting factors.

Armed with soil test results, the programs help create and design a full season plan that includes variable rate fertility based on soil test reports, along with variable rate planting based on soil type and fertility condition.

Tissue sampling and soil resin balls
With a huge rise in commodity prices, this is an area of rapid growth. As the growing season evolves, tissue sampling has become an important fertility management tool. Another even newer test, still in the early stages of development, uses a specially designed resin ball to help identify fertility deficiencies within the actual root zone.


This information will then allow us to supplement deficient nutrients at the correct time.

The bottom line is to design a powerful plant diet that will reduce any nutritional limitations, while digitally tracking to better assist management with planning.

Seed treatment innovations
I recently came across an alfalfa seed advertisement for The Albert Dickinson Co. from 1926, which encouraged producers to clean seed before planting. While the industry has evolved, clean seed has certainly become a tradition in the seed industry.

Today, we have top-notch seed quality programs that ensure we are planting only the best and highest-quality seed. To accompany quality programs, we now have new seed treatments – all created to set the seed up for total emergence success.

As our yield goals continue to increase, it’s comforting to know we can count on many new discoveries to help us reach them, with more to come in the future.  FG

Corey Catt
Forage Products Manager
Latham High-Tech Seeds