Crop Biotech Update

New Alfalfa Variety Could be Big Boost to Dairy Industry

March 30, 2012

The new variety of alfalfa NR-Gee promises to improve milk production with less environment effects in cow farms. The alfalfa variety has a lower percentage of indigestible fiber and a higher percentage of carbohydrates and pectin which cow can covert to milk.

"More intake and more digestibility: those two things combined, we think, are going to make a pretty significant impact for the dairy industry," said Julie Hansen, a senior research associate in plant breeding and genetics.

In addition, N-R-Gee was also found resistant to many diseases that are problematic in the Northeast, including bacterial wilt, verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, anthracnose and phytophthora root rot. Disease resistance is especially important in alfalfa, as it stays in the field year-round, for multiple years.

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